Books: Great Mann

(See front cover)

JOSEPH AND HIS BROTHERS—Thomas Mann—Knopf ($2.50).

Not until a man is dead and buried can he safely be called great. Death and its historical illusion then lend the word some meaning, which it lacks in an age addicted to strong language. Boundaries warp perspectives even more: one land's hero is another's hissing, and there is no universal Emily Post to tell plain men in whose presence to doff their hats. But this week, in the name of half a hemisphere, literary Manhattan was ready to do homage to a...

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