The first temptation of the last magus : a comparison of Michel Tournier's "Taor, prince de Mangalore", Edzard Schaper's "Die Legende vom vierten König" and Henry van Dyke's "The story of the other wise man"

  • Given Tournier's own indication that the story of Taor in the last part of "Gaspard, Mechior & Balthazar" came to him from Edzard Schaper's "Die Legende vom vierten König" and Henry van Dyke's "The story of the other wise man", this article compares the three texts in order to determine their respective theological perspectives. It is argued that Schaper's and van Dyke's respective tales constitute meditations on the sheep and the goats pericope from Matthew 24. Tournier's tale, on the other hand, involves a different theological focus: the first temptation of Christ from Matthew 4:14 as this pericope relates to Deuteronomy 8:2-3. This shift in focus makes food central to the spiritual journey of Tournier's protagonist: the gluttonous Taor makes a symbolic transition from "living on bread alone" to living by "every word that comes out of the mouth of God" (the bread of the Eucharist). It is argued that because Taor begins his journey from the spiritually immature (from a Christian perspective) position of the Israelites in Exodus 16, his starting point is pre-Christological and, therefore, his journey is far greater than those of Schaper's and van Dyke's respective protagonists. The latter possess rudimentary Christological knowledge right from the start and therefore undergo less extensive spiritual metamorphosis than does Taor.

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Author:Vladimir Tumanov
Parent Title (English):Orbis litterarum
Place of publication:Copenhagen
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2014
Year of first Publication:1997
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/12/30
GND Keyword:Schaper, Edzard / Der vierte König; Tournier, Michel; Drei Könige
Page Number:24
First Page:280
Last Page:297
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 80 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft / 800 Literatur und Rhetorik
Sammlungen:CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
BDSL-Klassifikation:18.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1945-1989) / BDSL-Klassifikation: 18.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1945-1989) > 18.14.00 Zu einzelnen Autoren
03.00.00 Literaturwissenschaft / BDSL-Klassifikation: 03.00.00 Literaturwissenschaft > 03.03.00 Studien
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht