The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

by Stephen Greenblatt

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Overview

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve by Stephen Greenblatt

Stephen Greenblatt—Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award–winning author of The Swerve and Will in the World—investigates the life of one of humankind’s greatest stories.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. Comprising only a few ancient verses, the story of Adam and Eve has served as a mirror in which we seem to glimpse the whole, long history of our fears and desires, as both a hymn to human responsibility and a dark fable about human wretchedness.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. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393240801
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/12/2017
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 130,278
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.40(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 Bake 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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