Neophilologus

, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 287–302 | Cite as

Jacob as Job in Thomas Mann's Joseph und Seine Brüder

  • Vladimir Tumanov
Article

Abstract

Tbe Book of Job from the Old Testament is juxtaposed in detail with its hypertext in Thomas Mann's novel: the chapter where Jacob mourns for his "dead" Joseph. An argument is made that Mann's awareness of rabbinical literature creates a connection with the Akedah tradition, i.e., different ways of dealing with the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham in Genesis. The notion that Abraham actually does kill Isaac, as suggested by a medieval rabbinical text, is interwoven into the analysis of Jacob's mourning for Joseph who appears as an Issaac-like sacrificial victim in Mann's novel. A connection is established between Abraham, Job and Jacob as figures whose children are claimed by God, and their reactions to this test are compared.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vladimir Tumanov
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Modern Languages & LiteraturesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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