This remarkable new translation of the Nobel Prize-winner’s great masterpiece is a major literary event.
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, 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. Deploying lavish, persuasive detail, Mann conjures for us the world of patriarchs and pharaohs, the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Palestine, and the universal force of human love in all its beauty, desperation, absurdity, and pain. The result is a brilliant amalgam of humor, 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, revealing the novel’s exuberant polyphony of ancient and modern voices, a rich music that is by turns elegant, coarse, and sublime.
Thomas Mann (1875–1955) was from Germany. At the age of 25, he published his first novel, Buddenbrooks. In 1924, The Magic Mountain was published, and five years later, Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Following the rise of the Nazis to… More about Thomas Mann
“This excellent new translation by John E. Woods is a cause for celebration: first, because Joseph and His Brothers is in fact a great novel that will now be discovered by a new generation of readers; and second, because Woods himself is to be credited with an extraordinary achievement . . . Woods tackles the challenges of Mann’s wide-ranging diction with exuberance . . . Mann has finally found his ideal English translator.” –New Republic,Ruth Franklin
Nobel PrizeWINNER 1929
Between 1926 and 1942, Thomas Mann labored off and on for a total of ten years at what he called his “pyramid,” Joseph and His Brothers, the great literary monument that he hoped would tower over all the other works for which he is now remembered. It is half a century now since Mann’s death, and although The Magic Mountain, Doctor Faustus, “Death in Venice,” and Buddenbrooks still find their readers, a mere five decades have apparently sufficed to raze the pyramid of Joseph, leaving few traces of what Mann intended as his magnum opus.