The Second Scroll

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The Second Scroll
TheSecondScroll.jpg
First edition
Author A. M. Klein
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf
Publication date
1951
Pages 198

The Second Scroll is a 1951 novel by the Jewish-Canadian writer A. M. Klein. Klein's only novel was written after his pilgrimage to the newly founded nation of Israel in 1949. It concerns the quest for meaning in the post-Holocaust world, as an unnamed narrator, a Montreal journalist and editor, searches for his long-lost uncle, Melech Davidson, a Holocaust survivor, in post-war Italy, Morocco, and Israel.

Klein's novel parallels the biblical story of the Exodus from Egypt, with the modern Jewish immigration to Israel after the war being compared to the original Exodus story. It is arranged in "books" (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), with each book loosely based on its equivalent from the Torah, and in the Jewish Talmudic tradition, several glosses further the ideas of each book at the end of the novel. The novel incorporates modes from poetry, drama and prayer, and contains elements of metafiction.