Joseph and His Brothers
Thomas Mann regarded his monumental retelling of the biblical story of Joseph as his magnum opus. He conceived of the four parts - The Stories of Jacob, The Young Joseph, Joseph in Egypt and Joseph the Provider - as a unified narrative, a 'mythological novel' of Joseph's fall into slavery and his rise to be lord over Egypt. The result, twelve years in the writing, is a brilliant amalgam of humour, emotion, psychological insight and epic grandeur. Now the award-winning translator John E. Woods gives us a definitive new English version of Joseph and His Brothers that is worthy of Mann's achievement. Woods strips away the heavy, awkward, 'biblical' diction of the original translator to reveal the novel's exuberant polyphony of ancient and modern voices, a rich music that is by turns elegant, coarse and sublime.