The Tables of the Law

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’ 
London Review of Books

‘Beautiful … one of the best short novels he has written.’
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 of Kadesh, as well as the engraving of the stone tables of the law at Sinai.

In Thomas Mann’s ironic and incisive style, this story, the most dramatic and significant 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. His tale of the ethical founding and moulding of a people sharply rebukes the Nazis for their intended destruction of the moral code set down in the Ten Commandments, lending his famous irony and authorial license to this account of the shaping of the Jewish people.

THOMAS MANN‘s many works include Buddenbrooks, The Magic Mountain, Death in Venice, and Confessions of Felix Krull. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929.

MARION FABER and STEPHEN LEHMANN co-authored a biography of the pianist Rudolf Serkin and have together translated Nietzsche’s Human, All Too Human.

MICHAEL WOOD is the Charles Barnwell Straut Class of 1923 Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. He is on the Editorial Board of the London Review of Books, to which he is also a regular contributor.

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