Search Results: the-swerve-how-the-world-became-modern

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393083381

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 9384

Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction Winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Non-Fiction One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it. Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius—a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions. The copying and translation of this ancient book-the greatest discovery of the greatest book-hunter of his age-fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson.

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393079845

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 384

View: 8414

"Greenblatt knows more about [Shakespeare] than Ben Jonson or the Dark Lady did."—John Leonard, ?Harper's A young man from a small provincial town moves to London in the late 1580s and, in a remarkably short time, becomes the greatest playwright not of his age alone but of all time. How is an achievement of this magnitude to be explained? How did Shakespeare become Shakespeare? Stephen Greenblatt brings us down to earth to see, hear, and feel how an acutely sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan life, could have become the world's greatest playwright. A Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award Finalist.

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393634582

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 9878

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.

The Swerve

How the Renaissance Began

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781407496313

Category: Civilization, Modern

Page: 357

View: 718

Nearly six hundred years ago, On the Nature of Things by Lucretius was discovered on a library shelf. The book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, filled with dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion. The copying and translation of this ancient book fuelled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had revolutionary influence on writers from Montaigne to Thomas Jefferson.

Why Honor Matters

Author: Tamler Sommers

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465098886

Category: Philosophy

Page: 272

View: 4734

A controversial call to put honor at the center of morality To the modern mind, the idea of honor is outdated, sexist, and barbaric. It evokes Hamilton and Burr and pistols at dawn, not visions of a well-organized society. But for philosopher Tamler Sommers, a sense of honor is essential to living moral lives. In Why Honor Matters, Sommers argues that our collective rejection of honor has come at great cost. Reliant only on Enlightenment liberalism, the United States has become the home of the cowardly, the shameless, the selfish, and the alienated. Properly channeled, honor encourages virtues like courage, integrity, and solidarity, and gives a sense of living for something larger than oneself. Sommers shows how honor can help us address some of society's most challenging problems, including education, policing, and mass incarceration. Counterintuitive and provocative, Why Honor Matters makes a convincing case for honor as a cornerstone of our modern society.

How to Live

Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer

Author: Sarah Bakewell

Publisher: Other Press, LLC

ISBN: 1590514262

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 400

View: 1850

Winner of the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography How to get along with people, how to deal with violence, how to adjust to losing someone you love—such questions arise in most people’s lives. They are all versions of a bigger question: how do you live? How do you do the good or honorable thing, while flourishing and feeling happy? This question obsessed Renaissance writers, none more than Michel Eyquem de Monatigne, perhaps the first truly modern individual. A nobleman, public official and wine-grower, he wrote free-roaming explorations of his thought and experience, unlike anything written before. He called them “essays,” meaning “attempts” or “tries.” Into them, he put whatever was in his head: his tastes in wine and food, his childhood memories, the way his dog’s ears twitched when it was dreaming, as well as the appalling events of the religious civil wars raging around him. The Essays was an instant bestseller and, over four hundred years later, Montaigne’s honesty and charm still draw people to him. Readers come in search of companionship, wisdom and entertainment—and in search of themselves. This book, a spirited and singular biography, relates the story of his life by way of the questions he posed and the answers he explored. It traces his bizarre upbringing, youthful career and sexual adventures, his travels, and his friendships with the scholar and poet Étienne de La Boétie and with his adopted “daughter,” Marie de Gournay. And we also meet his readers—who for centuries have found in Montaigne an inexhaustible source of answers to the haunting question, “how to live?”

Epicureanism at the Origins of Modernity

Author: Catherine Wilson

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191553522

Category: Philosophy

Page: 320

View: 3576

This landmark study examines the role played by the rediscovery of the writings of the ancient atomists, Epicurus and Lucretius, in the articulation of the major philosophical systems of the seventeenth century, and, more broadly, their influence on the evolution of natural science and moral and political philosophy. The target of sustained and trenchant philosophical criticism by Cicero, and of opprobrium by the Christian Fathers of the early Church, for its unflinching commitment to the absence of divine supervision and the finitude of life, the Epicurean philosophy surfaced again in the period of the Scientific Revolution, when it displaced scholastic Aristotelianism. Both modern social contract theory and utilitarianism in ethics were grounded in its tenets. Catherine Wilson shows how the distinctive Epicurean image of the natural and social worlds took hold in philosophy, and how it is an acknowledged, and often unacknowledged presence in the writings of Descartes, Gassendi, Hobbes, Boyle, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley. With chapters devoted to Epicurean physics and cosmology, the corpuscularian or "mechanical" philosophy, the question of the mortality of the soul, the grounds of political authority, the contested nature of the experimental philosophy, sensuality, curiosity, and the role of pleasure and utility in ethics, the author makes a persuasive case for the significance of materialism in seventeenth-century philosophy without underestimating the depth and significance of the opposition to it, and for its continued importance in the contemporary world. Lucretius's great poem, On the Nature of Things, supplies the frame of reference for this deeply-researched inquiry into the origins of modern philosophy. .

Shakespeare's Freedom

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226306674

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 144

View: 524

With the elegance and verve for which he is well known, Greenblatt, author of the bestselling "Will in the World," shows that Shakespeare was strikingly averse to such absolutes as scripture, monarch, and God, and constantly probed the possibility of freedom from them.

Marvelous Possessions

The Wonder of the New World

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022652518X

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 6190

A masterwork of history and cultural studies, Marvelous Possessions is a brilliant meditation on the interconnected ways in which Europeans of the Age of Discovery represented non-European peoples and took possession of their lands, particularly in the New World. In a series of innovative readings of travel narratives, judicial documents, and official reports, Stephen Greenblatt shows that the experience of the marvelous, central to both art and philosophy, was manipulated by Columbus and others in the service of colonial appropriation. Much more than simply a collection of the odd and exotic, Marvelous Possessions is both a highly original extension of Greenblatt’s thinking on a subject that has permeated his career and a thrilling tale of wandering, kidnapping, and go-betweens—of daring improvisation, betrayal, and violence. Reaching back to the ancient Greeks, forward to the present, and, in his new preface, even to fantastical meetings between humans and aliens in movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Greenblatt would have us ask: How is it possible, in a time of disorientation, hatred of the other, and possessiveness, to keep the capacity for wonder—for tolerant recognition of cultural difference—from being poisoned?

Shakespearean Negotiations

The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520061606

Category: Drama

Page: 205

View: 7400

Examines Shakespeare's plays in terms of Elizabethan society, analyzes exorcism, cross-dressing, colonial propaganda, and the law, and discusses Shakespeare's cultural influences

Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393635767

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 208

View: 9136

World-renowned Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt explores the playwright’s insight into bad (and often mad) rulers. As an aging, tenacious Elizabeth I clung to power, a talented playwright probed the social causes, the psychological roots, and the twisted consequences of tyranny. In exploring the psyche (and psychoses) of the likes of Richard III, Macbeth, Lear, Coriolanus, and the societies they rule over, Stephen Greenblatt illuminates the ways in which William Shakespeare delved into the lust for absolute power and the catastrophic consequences of its execution. Cherished institutions seem fragile, political classes are in disarray, economic misery fuels populist anger, people knowingly accept being lied to, partisan rancor dominates, spectacular indecency rules—these aspects of a society in crisis fascinated Shakespeare and shaped some of his most memorable plays. With uncanny insight, he shone a spotlight on the infantile psychology and unquenchable narcissistic appetites of demagogues—and the cynicism and opportunism of the various enablers and hangers-on who surround them—and imagined how they might be stopped. As Greenblatt shows, Shakespeare’s work, in this as in so many other ways, remains vitally relevant today.

Question of Identity

Author: Anthea Fraser

Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd

ISBN: 1780102771

Category: Fiction

Page: 208

View: 7849

A new Rona Parish mystery. - An old school photograph in which someone has been deliberately blacked out marks the start of a new case for Rona Parish. Who was this person and why would someone want to hide his or her identity? Rona sets out to uncover the secret and soon finds that the school in question closed down many years ago due, it was rumoured, to a long-forgotten scandal. Could this be the link that will solve the mystery? Meanwhile, a visit to a a stage hypnotist results in more than Rona and her friends bargained for . . .

Cultural Mobility

A Manifesto

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521863562

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 271

View: 7258

Cultural Mobility offers a model for understanding the patterns of meaning that human societies create. It has emerged under the very distinguished editorial guidance of Stephen Greenblatt and represents a new way of thinking about culture and cultures with which scholars in many disciplines will need to engage.

Hamlet in Purgatory

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400848091

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 624

In Hamlet in Purgatory, renowned literary scholar Stephen Greenblatt delves into his longtime fascination with the ghost of Hamlet's father, and his daring and ultimately gratifying journey takes him through surprising intellectual territory. It yields an extraordinary account of the rise and fall of Purgatory as both a belief and a lucrative institution--as well as a capacious new reading of the power of Hamlet. In the mid-sixteenth century, English authorities abruptly changed the relationship between the living and dead. Declaring that Purgatory was a false "poem," they abolished the institutions and banned the practices that Christians relied on to ease the passage to Heaven for themselves and their dead loved ones. Greenblatt explores the fantastic adventure narratives, ghost stories, pilgrimages, and imagery by which a belief in a grisly "prison house of souls" had been shaped and reinforced in the Middle Ages. He probes the psychological benefits as well as the high costs of this belief and of its demolition. With the doctrine of Purgatory and the elaborate practices that grew up around it, the church had provided a powerful method of negotiating with the dead. The Protestant attack on Purgatory destroyed this method for most people in England, but it did not eradicate the longings and fears that Catholic doctrine had for centuries focused and exploited. In his strikingly original interpretation, Greenblatt argues that the human desires to commune with, assist, and be rid of the dead were transformed by Shakespeare--consummate conjurer that he was--into the substance of several of his plays, above all the weirdly powerful Hamlet. Thus, the space of Purgatory became the stage haunted by literature's most famous ghost. This book constitutes an extraordinary feat that could have been accomplished by only Stephen Greenblatt. It is at once a deeply satisfying reading of medieval religion, an innovative interpretation of the apparitions that trouble Shakespeare's tragic heroes, and an exploration of how a culture can be inhabited by its own spectral leftovers. This expanded Princeton Classics edition includes a new preface by the author.

Shakespeare's Montaigne

The Florio Translation of the Essays, A Selection

Author: Michel de Montaigne

Publisher: New York Review of Books

ISBN: 1590177347

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 480

View: 4810

An NYRB Classics Original Shakespeare, Nietzsche wrote, was Montaigne’s best reader—a typically brilliant Nietzschean insight, capturing the intimate relationship between Montaigne’s ever-changing record of the self and Shakespeare’s kaleidoscopic register of human character. And there is no doubt that Shakespeare read Montaigne—though how extensively remains a matter of debate—and that the translation he read him in was that of John Florio, a fascinating polymath, man-about-town, and dazzlingly inventive writer himself. Florio’s Montaigne is in fact one of the masterpieces of English prose, with a stylistic range and felicity and passages of deep lingering music that make it comparable to Sir Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy and the works of Sir Thomas Browne. This new edition of this seminal work, edited by Stephen Greenblatt and Peter G. Platt, features an adroitly modernized text, an essay in which Greenblatt discusses both the resemblances and real tensions between Montaigne’s and Shakespeare’s visions of the world, and Platt’s introduction to the life and times of the extraordinary Florio. Altogether, this book provides a remarkable new experience of not just two but three great writers who ushered in the modern world.

To End All Wars

A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918

Author: Adam Hochschild

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780547549217

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 6554

World War I stands as one of history’s most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation. In a riveting, suspenseful narrative with haunting echoes for our own time, Adam Hochschild brings it to life as never before. He focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the war’s critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Thrown in jail for their opposition to the war were Britain’s leading investigative journalist, a future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and an editor who, behind bars, published a newspaper for his fellow inmates on toilet paper. These critics were sometimes intimately connected to their enemy hawks: one of Britain’s most prominent women pacifist campaigners had a brother who was commander in chief on the Western Front. Two well-known sisters split so bitterly over the war that they ended up publishing newspapers that attacked each other. Today, hundreds of military cemeteries spread across the fields of northern France and Belgium contain the bodies of millions of men who died in the “war to end all wars.” Can we ever avoid repeating history?

The Return of Lucretius to Renaissance Florence

Author: Alison Brown

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674050327

Category: History

Page: 139

View: 559

Brown demonstrates how Florentine thinkers used Lucretius—earlier and more widely than has been supposed—to provide a radical critique of prevailing orthodoxies. She enhances our understanding of the “revolution” in sixteenth-century political thinking and our definition of the Renaissance within newly discovered worlds and new social networks.

The Infidel and the Professor

David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought

Author: Dennis C. Rasmussen

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400888468

Category: Philosophy

Page: 336

View: 8280

The story of the greatest of all philosophical friendships—and how it influenced modern thought David Hume is widely regarded as the most important philosopher ever to write in English, but during his lifetime he was attacked as “the Great Infidel” for his skeptical religious views and deemed unfit to teach the young. In contrast, Adam Smith was a revered professor of moral philosophy, and is now often hailed as the founding father of capitalism. Remarkably, the two were best friends for most of their adult lives, sharing what Dennis Rasmussen calls the greatest of all philosophical friendships. The Infidel and the Professor is the first book to tell the fascinating story of the friendship of these towering Enlightenment thinkers—and how it influenced their world-changing ideas. The book follows Hume and Smith’s relationship from their first meeting in 1749 until Hume’s death in 1776. It describes how they commented on each other’s writings, supported each other’s careers and literary ambitions, and advised each other on personal matters, most notably after Hume’s quarrel with Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Members of a vibrant intellectual scene in Enlightenment Scotland, Hume and Smith made many of the same friends (and enemies), joined the same clubs, and were interested in many of the same subjects well beyond philosophy and economics—from psychology and history to politics and Britain’s conflict with the American colonies. The book reveals that Smith’s private religious views were considerably closer to Hume’s public ones than is usually believed. It also shows that Hume contributed more to economics—and Smith contributed more to philosophy—than is generally recognized. Vividly written, The Infidel and the Professor is a compelling account of a great friendship that had great consequences for modern thought.

Learning to Curse

Essays in Early Modern Culture

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136774203

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 280

View: 9336

Stephen Greenblatt argued in these celebrated essays that the art of the Renaissance could only be understood in the context of the society from which it sprang. His approach - 'New Historicism' - drew from history, anthropology, Marxist theory, post-structuralism, and psychoanalysis and in the process, blew apart the academic boundaries insulating literature from the world around it. Learning to Curse charts the evolution of that approach and provides a vivid and compelling exploration of a complex and contradictory epoch.

Seek My Face

A Novel

Author: John Updike

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0307416593

Category: Fiction

Page: 288

View: 4345

John Updike’s twentieth novel, like his first, The Poorhouse Fair, takes place in one day, a day that contains much conversation and some rain. The seventy-nine-year-old painter Hope Chafetz, who in the course of her eventful life has been Hope Ouderkirk, Hope McCoy, and Hope Holloway, answers questions put to her by a New York interviewer named Kathryn, and recapitulates, through stories from her career and many marriages, the triumphant, poignant saga of postwar American art. In the evolving relation between the two women, interviewer and subject move in and out of the roles of daughter and mother, therapist and patient, predator and prey, supplicant and idol. The scene is central Vermont; the time, the early spring of 2001.

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