George Prochnik on Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin, and Jerusalem; Elif Batuman, “The People in Trees”

George Prochnik on Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin, and Jerusalem; Elif Batuman, “The People in Trees”
By LARB AV –  April 13, 2017

George   Prochnik is one of our leading biographers and cultural historians; and he talks with Kate and Medaya about his latest book, Stranger in a Strange Land: Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem. As he talks about Scholem’s life, from his close friendship with Walter Benjamin to his exodus from Europe, to his history excavations of Judaica that were motivated by a desire to enliven contemporary Jewish life — it becomes apparent that Prochnik sees something of his own quest for meaning in Scholem’s unique path. Also, Elif Batuman returns to recommend Hanya Yanagihara’s The People in the Trees.