Thursday, July 15, 2010

Automatic writing

Dr Amos Goldreich has published a new book with Cherub Press. His dissertation was a study and edition of Isaac of Acre's Sefer Meirat Enayim. He has published studies on the late strata of the Zohar. Now he has come out with a huge (400 pages) volume on the phenomenon of automatic writing, which is apparently found in the Tikune Zohar. Here's the description:

Automatic Writing in Zoharic Literature and Modernism, שם הכותב וכתיבה אוטומטית בספרות הזוהר ובמודרניזם, by Amos Goldreich (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 24; 2010, 408 pages, ISBN 1-933379-17-0, in Hebrew). This richly detailed monograph explores the phenomenon of mystical and magical techniques which induce a different state of consciousness that leads to literary production. The impetus of the study is the suggestion, offered in the celebrated testimony of R. Isaac of Acre, that R. Moses de León was able to write the Zohar using shem ha-kotev, a magical application of the divine name. It has been demonstrated that the later stratum of the Zohar, that is Tiqqunei ha-Zohar, was actually written using this technique. All scholarly treatments of the topic, including new evidence from manuscript sources and a history of related phenomena amongst kabbalists, and on through the development of similar techniques in modernism, such as automatic writing experiments in early twentieth-century English occultism and French surrealism, are all discussed at length in this monumental study.


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