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The Tables of The Law

The Tables of The Law

Written by Thomas Mann
Newly translated from the German by Marion Faber and Stephen Lehmann.
Afterword by Michael Wood.

"His senses were hot, and so he yearned for spirituality, purity, and holiness—the invisible, which seemed to him spiritual, holy, and pure."

Thus Thomas Mann introduces Moses in The Tables of the Law, the Nobel Prize winner's retelling of the prophet's life. Invited in 1943 to write this story as a defense of the Decalogue, Mann reveals how strange and forbidding Moses' task was. As "the Lawgiver"—endowed with the wrists and hands of a stonemason—engraves the tablets, so he hews the souls of his people:

"Into the stone of the mountain I carved the ABC of human behavior,but it shall also be carved into your flesh and blood, Israel . . ."

Mann's tale of the ethical founding and molding of a people sharply rebukes the Nazis for their intended destruction of the moral code set down in the Ten Commandments. But does his famous irony and authorial license mock or enhance the Biblical account of the shaping of the Jewish people? You know the Bible story. Now read Mann's version—it will grip you anew.

Paperback
120 pages
Paul Dry Books

ISBN:9781589880573 

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