Mendelsohn was building on the work of Auerbach, who argued that the Hebrew style is more in line with reality, since God and creation are never knowable. So, everything is subject to interpretation. The irony is, by putting that premise out there, Auerbach invites interpretation, thereby making the Greek way valid - namely, elucidation by filling in the blanks. So Mendelsohn saw the pessimistic and optimistic styles as complements because they are "two aspects of the same complex phenomenon, each necessary to describing that phenomenon and each inextricable from the other."

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store