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Joseph and His Brothers


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 I'm nearing the end of Thomas Mann's long book, "Joseph and His Brothers". Almost 1500 pages, in small type. As long as "War and Peace"? Not sure, but it has often seemed like it. 


Thomas Mann - like Joseph's coat



Way back I read a portion of the book but dropped it at the point where Joseph hit the fleshpots of Egypt. It was quite a labour then, the translation that I was reading turning Thomas Mann's German into some sort of King James Bible language. I assumed at the time that this was how Thomas Mann had originally written it in German, but apparently this was not so. Just a few years ago I read of a new translation that dispensed with such stilted diction (a diction maybe suitable for the Word of God, especially among the fundamentalist fraternity who perhaps equate it with "depth" and authenticity) but not for a novel such as this. 


Everyman (for himself?)



Learning of such a new translation, my yearning to pick up where I had left off took roots. Let's face it, who can resist the lure of fleshpots, real or imagined? Anyway, I ordered a copy of this new translation, the Everyman Edition. When it arrived I found the small font size very daunting, but a strange determination to get the job done took hold, irrespective of my poor old eyes and the flickerings of blepharospasm. I decided to take the book with me for my stints on the till at Oxfam every tuesday, anticipating reading a small portion while listening to my favourite music. 



The world of Enid Blyton - no fleshpots here



So it has been. For two years or so I have taken the book with me and read about twenty pages or so each session. A labour of love, but often more labour than love. Much of the text is out of my league as far as the allusions and meanings and implications of Thomas Mann are concerned - maybe back to Enid Blyton next? The Secret Seven or the Faraway Tree?

Nevertheless the story is well known, at least to me, and the forward momentum of the narrative kept me going. A great story, even without the fleshpots!



Look for the fleshpots in vain



I must say though that the "forward momentum" did stumble just a bit when the wife of the Pharaoh began to fancy Joseph and she sought to manipulate a meeting of bodies, hers and his, this while retaining her righteousness and self-respect! The equivocation and prevarication went on and on for well over 100 pages, and there was I gagging for the juicy bits to begin. But then, really, seriously, what did I really expect but more of Thomas Mann's fine prose - Fifty Shades of Grey it is not! 



End of the road




But as I say, nearing the end now. A mere 100 or so pages to go. Even reading a few pages here in McDonald's, trying to get the job done and dusted. 


No need to issue a Spoiler Alert, as the story is well known. The final reconciliation of the brothers is still to come - and that I can understand. Reconciliation. Of all things......






 "And the fire and the rose are one"


I just love a happy ending. 







Joseph's story is told in Genesis (37–50). Joseph, most beloved of Jacob's sons, is hated by his envious brothers. Angry and jealous of Jacob's gift to Joseph, a resplendent “coat of many colours,” the brothers seize him and sell him to a party of Ishmaelites, or Midianites, who carry him to Egypt.Thomas Mann, however, begins his book with the story of Joseph's father, Jacob, who steals the birthright of his older twin brother Esau from their father, Isaac. Mann ends it with the reconciliation of Joseph with his brothers, Joseph by then having risen to high rank in Egypt by interpreting Pharaoh's dreams.

If you google "Jacob and Essau" or "Joseph and his brothers" you will be offered various versions. You will also be offered various "meanings" of the stories, the "lessons to be learnt". Such can be taken or left. So it goes. 




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What an astonishing software system this Forum must have! Try to upload a single image and you get all sorts of bother, needing to compress the KP or whatever. Yet cut and paste one entire Blog, complete with half a dozen uncompressed images, and hey presto! No problem!

Not complaining, just observing. 

Anyway, the OP here is as said/implied, simply a cut and paste of my 300th blog on the now infamous "Dookie's Place" blog. Now at almost 19,000 hits and Google Statistics show the spread is over 20 or so countries. 

Looking at the stats I have pause to consider just what anyone in Turkmenistan makes of my ramblings and waffle! Maybe a knock on the door at midnight might provide the unwelcome answer. 

But no matter, it keeps me sane. Very therapeutic to waffle away.


Access here:-


Thank you, or as we say in the trade......Namu Amida Butsu.

(Which now always makes me think of an ardent Christian fundamentalist, one wayer, who in response to my using the word said:- "Did someone sneeze?")

Ha ha ha ha ha. 

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If you have a link to an image it is dead easy ...

I right-click the image I want to paste ... a drop-down menu (Edge) gives me the option to copy image link and simply control V where I want to paste it   ... eg:


The bonus is it takes up less room on the TCPC server site.

and as a bonus


Edited by romansh
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Thanks Rom, I use my touch screen Kindle most of the time. I'll wait until I'm on my Chromebook before "right clicking". Not really much of a computer geek myself, just stumble along. 

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45 minutes ago, tariki said:

Hey! Just used my Kindle, touched the image, chose "Copy Link Address" then pasted onto the Forum!

 👍 👍 👍 👍

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