YOUNG JOSEPH by Thomas Mann


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If this be sacrilege make the most of it. But here an idol crashes, for me. I have considered Thomas Mann one of the outstanding figures in all modern literature. I felt that Joseph and His Brothers, while it seemed wrongly named and slow in getting under way, was a powerful and brilliant book, and I looked forward eagerly to the second of the panel, Young Joseph. I am frankly disappointed, bitterly so. Instead of gathering impetus, building on the vivid recreation of the period and life and setting, molding the character and unfolding the drama, the author allows himself to get into the scene at every turn, to interpret, audibly, to weigh the evidence, to compare the versions of the legend, until the story itself disintegrates. It makes laborious reading, it loses fire and color and impetus. Perhaps I am wrong. Better have a look at it, as it is a book you will have to stock, in small quantities, to meet the requests for anything Mann does. --The story is the episode of the quarrel between Joseph and his brothers, through his being sold into slavery.

Pub Date: April 8th, 1935
Publisher: Knopf