The Holy Sinner
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Holy Sinner (in German, Der Erwählte) is a German novel written by Thomas Mann. Published in 1951 and translated into English in 1992, it is based on the medieval verse epic Gregorius vom Stein written by the German Minnesinger Hermann von Aue (c. 1165-1210). Book explores a subject that fascinated Thomas Mann to the end of his life--the origins of evil and evil's connection with magic. Here Mann uses a medieval legend about 'the exceeding mercy of God and the birth of the blessed Pope Gregory' as he used the Biblical account of Joseph as the basis for Joseph and His Brothers--illuminating with his ironic sensibility the notion of original sin and transcendence of evil.