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Heaven and Hell
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The Swedenborg Foundation has done handsomely by its eponymous visionary with this first volume in a new 25 part set of translations of his work. They have begun with a fine new translation of Emanuel Swedenborg's most famous work, a description of the many heavens and hells that make up the great 18th-century thinker's cosmology, at once perfectly logical and perfectly eccentric. Swedenborg's afterworld is a kind of reflection and amplification of our own, and his vision of moving and active collective of heavens, occupied by the very real blessed dead, has been a tremendous influence on Goethe, Emerson, and Jorge Luis Borges, among many others. Dole's translation has the clarity and simplicity of Swedenborg's Latin, and the notes and supplementary material are wonderfully balanced and informative. Highly recommended. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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