This looks innovative:
“What kind of literature is the Talmud? To answer this question, Daniel Boyarin looks to an unlikely source: the dialogues of Plato. In these ancient texts he finds similarities, both in their unique combination of various genres and topics and in their dialogic structure. But Boyarin goes beyond the typological parallelism between the texts, arguing also for a cultural relationship. In Socrates and the Fat Rabbis, Boyarin suggests that these dialogues are not dialogic at all. Using Michael Bakhtin’s notion of represented dialogue and real dialogism, Boyarin demonstrates, through multiple close readings, that the give-and-take in these texts is actually monologic in spirit… “
– blurb for Daniel Boyarin’s Socrates and the Fat Rabbis (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
I don’t know what’s inside, but the great title and striking talmudic frontispiece – not to mention the author’s name – are enough to put it on my reading list. I expect it will provide an explication if not a complication on the relationship between Greek and Hebrew literature, and of the nature of dialogical and monological texts. But who knows what really lies inside? Exciting, isn’t it?