- Gebundene Ausgabe: 1536 Seiten
- Verlag: Everyman; Auflage: New Ed (10. März 2005)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1857152875
- ISBN-13: 978-1857152876
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13 x 5,5 x 21 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 321.160 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Joseph And His Brothers (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 10. März 2005
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“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 -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
This remarkable new translation of the Nobel Prize-winner's great masterpiece is a major literary event.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
One of the great masterpieces of literature by the master craftsman himself. Thank you, TM.
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Formerly available in Lowe-Porter's impossibly stilted Biblical prose, John Woods continues his Mann-cycle of translations here in what must have been a labor of love. No doubt the audience for this work is only a tiny fraction of that for his earlier Mann translations--especially Magic Mountain and Buddenbrooks. Let's hope Woods is still game for Felix Krull or, perhaps, a large selection of the shorter works. Woods' English is smooth and agreeable most of the time (consistent with Mann's German) and tart and biting when Mann's irony deserves it.
A potential reader must seriously ponder at the outset the problem of deciding whether or not to read a 1500 page novel based on a quite familiar biblical story of about 40 pages in length. It would seem that the legend of Joseph has done just fine on its own in its inherited form. The main reason I would say to read this, if for no other, is that Mann demonstrates here that he is the consummate scholar-novelist. Beyond its novel aspect, Joseph is really an elaborate commentary and explication on the Book of Genesis and, in a most indirect manner, its impact on the Judeo-Christian heritage. The novel is rewarding in that regard, as well as for its magnificent historical set pieces. We are presented with vignette after vignette of how the people of this time lived and viewed the world, and particularly how myth blended with, indeed was synonymous with, their consciousness and how that determined their actions. Through Mann's glosses of the ancient myths of Egypt and Mesopotamia, one is able to trace the origins of many of the primary theological concepts of the Christian and Jewish faiths.
If, however, the astounding scholarship is the novel's strength, then it is also its weakness, for it labors under it. There is too little mystery to the story - we all know what happens from the outset. Mann takes the biblical myth, blows it up, and refills the lacunae. Thus, one can get a better understanding of the motives of the players, and why things may have happened in the biblical myth as presented. To me this is all very interesting, yet academic. In reading a novel I desire the novel experience, and in this I look for characters not pre-determined. This would present quite a challenge to Mann were he not to alter the story. He is often successful in breathing new life into the players. For instance, his portrayal of Esau as the piping, uncouth goat-man and the disdain which Jacob feels for him in that regard; or Abraham as the shadowy figure who spurns the moon citadel of Ur and wanders Mesopotamia, forging a new religion along the way. Yet I feel the novel seldom becomes more than a presentation of exquisite detail, and the character Joseph is always as one would expect him to be. If you love Joseph already, as Mann clearly does, and feel he holds a special place in your faith or worldview, then this will be quite a delightful book. If not, if Joseph is looked upon only as a very important mythical figure with some basis in history, then it may not be so easy to share Mann's 1500 page enthusiasm for him.
Readers unfamiliar with Mann's work may feel a sense of vertigo beginning this even more than his other works. Much of the style of narration, unique with its perspective shifting through time, seems almost purposely designed to leave one doubting their footing. Increasing the sense of dread is the books sheer heft, with over 1500 pages of small type and weighing in at almost two and half pounds. Yet those brave souls who resist the temptation to lay down this load in favor of a more easily digested work will come to in the end appreciate the feast to come. Mann's work rests on its own unique rhythm, and once the reader grows acclimated they will surely appreciate both the work and the great skill of Mr. Wood as translator. This series of four novels expounding on the biblical tale of Jacob, his son of Joseph of the famous robe, as well as his brothers, often comes when people engage in the entertaining and fruitless parlor game of determining the greatest literary work of the 20th century. While no single work can claim such a title, the complexity of the work and the Herculean task of translation should be evident that this is only the second instance of its translation into English in the more than 60 years since it first appeared.
Beyond simply outlining the work's subject matter, in many ways it seems written with the express intent of defying further description. With a complex web of interrelated stories, occasionally taking subjects that the bible reflects on for only a sentence and expanded on them for a hundred pages and at the same time seeking to place this seminal tale in its religious, historic, and cultural context, the work often leaves the reader gasping at the audacity of Man's enterprise. Yet almost every one of his efforts comes as a remarkable success, leaving one much to ponder. Indeed, any expectation that one can rush through this work will surely leave you with only a headache and little to show for the effort. Instead, one must take their time and slowly chew on Joseph and His Brother's digesting each piece in turn. Like many great works this one takes effort and diligence, but the reward comes as more than just bragging rights for having read it. Far more, it will offer an often eye opening new perspective and beckon from the book shelf to be taken down again so that you may reread this section or that.
One last point: to end where I began, Mann's attention to detail and word choice often gives pause, making each of us consider the harm done when we rain down words on a subject when a mere drop would do.
[The spirit] remains, no matter how it presents itself, what it is: the messenger of
warning, the principle of opposition, umbrage, and wandering, which stirs up
within the breast of one individual, among all the great host of the lustily
complacent, an uneasiness at our preternatural wretchedness, drives him out
of the gates of the past and the given and into the extravagant adventure of
uncertainty, and makes him like the stone that, once it has broken away and
begins to roll, is destined to set in motion an ever-growing, rolling,
incalculable cascade of events. [pp. 35-6]
And from this immediately ensues the epic spiritual adventure of Abraham into the uncharted domain of grasping for an understanding of and relationship with the sole and ultimate source of sovereignty in the universe. And if this weren't enough, Mann then goes on to equate Abraham's adventure with the adventure of the storyteller (!) in daring to reach out to compose a tale such as this one.
Obviously I could go on forever in this vein, but my sole object is to plant my flag with the other on-line reviewers here and perhaps by this to induce some innocent wandering passerby of a reader to get out there and buy the book and read it, and by that act of participation, under any view a daunting and time-consuming committment, to join in Mann's festival of life, of storytelling as high art, of recapitulating in himself or herself the tradition of absorbing one's own cultural roots at the deepest level of joy and satisfaction. So there.--Mark B. Packer