The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

Book - 2017
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Stephen Greenblatt explores the enduring story of humanity's first parents. Tracking the tale into the deep past, Greenblatt uncovers the tremendous theological, artistic, and cultural investment over centuries that made these fictional figures so profoundly resonant in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worlds and, finally, so very 'real' to millions of people even in the present.
"Bolder, even, than the ambitious books for which Stephen Greenblatt is already renowned, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve explores the enduring story of humanity's first parents, and through them, of Western civilization. Tracking the tale into the deep past, to the Hebrews' exile in Babylon, Greenblatt explores the tremendous theological, artistic, and cultural creativity over the centuries that made Adam and Eve so profoundly resonant, and continues to make them, finally, so very "real" to millions of people even in the present. Both a hymn to human responsibility and a dark fable about human wretchedness, their story--told in only a few verses in an ancient book--has served as a mirror in which we seem to glimpse the whole, long history of human fears and desires. With the uncanny brilliance he previously brought to his depictions of William Shakespeare and Poggio Bracciolini (the humanist monk who is the protagonist of The Swerve), Greenblatt explores the intensely personal engagement of Augustine, Dürer, and Milton in this mammoth project of collective creation, While he also limns the diversity of the story's offspring: rich allegory, vicious misogyny, deep moral insight, and some of the greatest triumphs of art and literature. The biblical origin story, Greenblatt argues, is a model for what the humanities still have to offer: not the scientific nature of things, but rather a deep encounter with problems that have gripped our species for as long as we can recall and that continue to fascinate and trouble us today."--Jacket.
Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, 2017
Edition: First Edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780393240801
Branch Call Number: 233.14 Greenbla 2017
Characteristics: 419 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Dec 05, 2018

Enjoyable but demanding treatment of the historical views of the Adam and Eve mythology and how the stories were manipulated and enforced to achieve goals of the religious organizations that latched on to it.

Sep 27, 2018

An excellent overview of an issue that illustrates how ideas developed over the centuries. Thoroughly researched and proof given for all the assertions made. For the interested reader there are many sources listed for further study..

Feb 08, 2018

Someone who insists that the story of Adam and Eve is real history will hate this book, but I thoroughly enjoyed the analysis of why the story is still important and captivating.

Dec 03, 2017

An interesting read, and an erudite explanation of why a part of our body politic clings to the literal meaning of the 1,000 times translated version of an English language bible and the powerful forces that want them to. It is fascinating that this argument has been going on since the twelfth or thirteenth centuries. And amazing that a young woman who was born lame and then sent of to a convent at age 7 later wrote perhaps the first female tirade against the male patriarchy and the lie of religious power.

Oct 23, 2017

Adam and Eve, Fictional figures? This book must not be based on truth. God's word is.

debwalker Aug 09, 2017

How and why the story of Adam and Eve had such a powerful impact on Western culture. At a time when intellectual curiousity is disparaged at the highest levels, this is powerful.


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