Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Joseph and Aseneth

Nothing particular to do with Dante, but given our readings in Genesis and the classics, I couldn't resist noting this summary with some passages from the story of Joseph on this lovely blog. The entire story is online, an elaborate soap-ish version of the love between Joseph and Aseneth, a daughter of Pharaoh who is mentioned in Genesis as having become his wife. (Of course we knew already that Thomas Mann was not by any means the first to build intricate narratives out of scant clues in Genesis' scant, but ever-suggestive, details.)

Of special interest, given a certain fascination of your blogger with bee images, was this passage:

13. And bees came up from the cells of the comb, and they were white as snow, and their wings were irridescent -- purple and blue and gold; [11] and they had golden diadems on their heads and sharp-pointed strings. 14. And all the bees flew in circles round Aseneth, from her feet right up to her head; and yet more bees, [12] as big as queens, settled on Aseneth's lips. 15. And the man said to the bees, "Go, please, to your places." 16. And they all left Aseneth and fell to the ground, every one of them, [13] and died. 17. And the man said, "Get up now, and go to your place;" and they got up [14] and went, every one of them, to the court round Aseneth's tower.

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