Friday, Jun 8, 2012, 3:30 PM

Konstanty Gebert

Lost in Translation

According to the mediaeval commentator Abraham ibn Ezra, the Book of Job has been translated from another language, and is therefore “unclear, like all translated books”. Ibn Ezra was apparently wrong — but in a more fundamental way, he was right. This is a book about lack of clarity on motivation, as humans attempt to comprehend Divine purposes, and translate them into their own terms. As such, it can serve as template of reflection on Divine-human, and indeed human-human misunderstandings.

Konstanty Gebert is an author, journalist, lecturer, and political activist based in Warsaw. In 1976 he graduated from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warsaw. He was a prominent figure in the democratic opposition in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s when he co-founded the unofficial Jewish Flying University (1979), the Polish Council of Christians and Jews (1980), and a trade union of the employees in academia, technology and education which merged with Solidarnosc (1980). In 1981 he avoided internment and during the Martial Law in Poland he continued to write and publish articles for various underground publications under the pseudonym Dawid Warszawski. Gebert also served as a reporter on the war in Bosnia for Gazeta Wyborcza. His articles have been widely published in a variety of national periodicals as well as foreign media. He has written several books, including a first-hand account of the Polish Round Table negotiations of 1989 and a book about the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Konstanty Gebert is also the founder and editor of Midrasz, the first Polish-language Jewish periodical in post-communist Poland and he frequently appears on Polish television and radio. Konstanty Gebert has lectured in Poland, Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and the USA.

The event will be held in English