The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve: The Story That Created Us

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve: The Story That Created Us

by Stephen Greenblatt

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Overview

“Endlessly illuminating and a sheer pleasure to read.” —Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography


Daring to take the great biblical account of human origins seriously, but without credulity

The most influential story in Western cultural history, the biblical account of Adam and Eve is now treated either as the sacred possession of the faithful or as the butt of secular jokes. Here, acclaimed scholar Stephen Greenblatt explores it with profound appreciation for its cultural and psychological power as literature. From the birth of the Hebrew Bible to the awe-inspiring contributions of Augustine, Dürer, and Milton in bringing Adam and Eve to vivid life, Greenblatt unpacks the story’s many interpretations and consequences over time. Rich allegory, vicious misogyny, deep moral insight, narrow literalism, and some of the greatest triumphs of art and literature: all can be counted as children of our “first” parents.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393356267
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 223,068
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Stephen Greenblatt (Ph.D. Yale) is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. Also General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, he is the author of eleven books, including Tyrant,The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve: The Story that Created Us, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (winner of the 2011 National Book Award and the 2012 Pulitzer Prize); Shakespeare's Freedom; Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare; Hamlet in Purgatory; Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World; Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture; and Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare. He has edited seven collections of criticism, including Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto, and is a founding coeditor of the journal Representations. His honors include the MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize, for both Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England and The Swerve, the Sapegno Prize, the Distinguished Humanist Award from the Mellon Foundation, the Wilbur Cross Medal from the Yale University Graduate School, the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, the Erasmus Institute Prize, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, Berkeley. He was president of the Modern Language Association of America and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Hometown:

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

November 7, 1943

Place of Birth:

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Education:

B.A., Yale University, 1964; B.A., Cambridge University, 1966; Ph.D., Yale University, 1969

Table of Contents

Prologue: In The House Of Worship 1

1 Bare Bones 5

2 By The Waters Of Babylon 21

3 Clay Tablets 39

4 The Life Of Adam And Eve 64

5 In The Bathhouse 81

6 Original Freedom. Original Sin 98

7 Eve's Murder 120

8 Embodiments 139

9 Chastity And Its Discontents 163

10 The Politics Of Paradise 189

11 Becoming Real 204

12 Men Before Adam 231

13 Falling Away 250

14 Darwin's Doubts 269

Epilogue: In The Forest Of Eden 285

Appendix 1 A Sampling of Interpretations 303

Appendix 2 A Sampling of Origin Stories 313

Acknowledgments 321

Notes 325

Selected Bibliography 367

Illustration Credits 393

Index 397

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