Sunday, September 30, 2007

Q&A Garry Kasparov

Originally appeared in the Boston Globe,

By Harvey Blume

THE 1985 CHAMPIONSHIP chess match between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov captured the world's attention not just for the gripping chess, but because Kasparov, at 22, embodied an outspoken, anti-authoritarian spirit that seemed a rebuke to the Soviet status quo. Kasparov won the match, becoming the youngest world chess champion in history and a heroic figure to many who would welcome the collapse of Communism.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Q&A Robert Alter

First appeared in the Boston Globe.

ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF the Hebrew Bible -- most notably the King James version -- have been key not only for the believers who look to them for instruction and inspiration, but to the evolving literary and cultural sensibility of the West. It's no wonder, then, that the radical approach to translating biblical texts that Robert Alter has taken -- first in "The Five Books of Moses" (2004) and now in "The Book of Psalms" -- has been greeted with responses ranging from delight to irritation.