Monday, July 18, 2016

Fiction Inspired by the Story of Moses

The story of Moses and the exodus from Egypt has such deep cultural roots that many of us have read other novels with Moses-like characters or themes.  Two came to my mind right away:

Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfuz, in which an Egyptian family mirrors the spiritual history of humankind as a feudal lord disowns one son for diabolical pride and puts another son to the ultimate test.

The Lawgiver by Herman Wouk -  a tale told through correspondence, articles, and text messages traces the efforts of a group of movie makers, including a brilliant young writer-director who has rejected her rabbinical father's strict upbringing, to create a movie about the life of Moses.

What about you?  Can you add to this list?  Please comment to this post with any ideas!


  1. "Exodus" is the modern name given to a powerful, but incomplete Old English poem of 590 lines, from about the year 800, by an unknown author, and is a re-telling of the Israelites escape from Egypt, as an heroic epic.

    1. I've found an excerpt in The Word Exchange: Anglo-Saxon Poems in Translation / Delanty and Matto, eds. It includes the Old English text side-by-side with a modern translation by David Curzon: "Watch now! You, the chosen nation, with your own eyes will witness a quick miracle: how I myself by the Strong Right Hand have struck with a living stick the deep ocean."

    2. Excellent work! - will need to see. Side-by-sides: very revealing, when available. BTW, more fiction for list: "Moses, The Prince of Egypt", Dorothy Clarke Wilson (1949 - partial basis for DeMille's "The Ten Commandments"

  2. Wow! I was not aware of that. Going to see if we have that somewhere in a collected volume...