The Tables of Law

by Thomas Mann / translated by Marion Faber & Stephen Lehmann

‘The new translation by Marion Faber and Stephen Lehmann, which is brisk and direct, is a welcome replacement of the fussier and less accurate English version’ 
The London Review of Books

‘Beautiful…one of the best short novels he has written.’
The New York Times Book Review

‘Brilliant…a little masterpiece.’ 
Chicago Sun

‘Can rank with the best of Mann’s writing.’
Boston Globe 

The Tables Of The Law recounts the early life of Moses, his preparations for leading his people out of Egypt, the exodus itself and the incidents at the oasis Kadesh, and the engraving of the stone tables of the law at Sinai. In Thomas Mann’s ironic and telling style, this most dramatic and significant story in the Hebrew Bible takes on a new (and at times, witty) life and meaning. Like Joseph and His Brothers, it represents Mann’s art at its best. He who dares to retell the story of the exodus must be bold, but to succeed he must be inspired as well. Here one would say Mann was inspired.

THOMAS MANN won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929. Among his most famous works are BuddenbrooksThe Magic MountainDeath in Venice and Confessions of Felix Krull.

MARION FABER was Professor of German Emerita, Swarthmore College. She is author of Angels of Daring: Tightrope Walker and Acrobat in Nietzsche, Kafka, Rilke and Thomas Mann (Stuttgarter Arbeiten zur Germanistik, l980); co-author with Stephen Lehmann of Rudolf Serkin—A Life (Oxford University Press, 2003); and translator of many books.

STEPHEN LEHMANN grew up in a German-speaking home in California – although his family had fled Hitler’s Germany, they remained resolutely devoted to the culture in which they had been raised – and endured two stints in a Swiss boarding school. After obtaining an M.A. in German literature at the University of California (Berkeley), he became a librarian, editor, translator and biographer.

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