One of the world’s most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an The details that Mr. Greenblatt supplies throughout The Swerve are tangy. Greenblatt won for The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, a page study of the transformative cultural power wielded by an ancient. The literary critic, theorist and Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt’s new book, “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern,” is partly.

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On the Nature of Things by Lucretius expounded the views of Epicurus in an epic poem so lovely that even St.

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. The Swerve is, swerrve, a dazzling retelling of the old humanist myth of the heroic liberation of classical learning from centuries of monastic darkness.

That conclusion is convenient in dwerve but failed to convince me. And of course he does, because The Swerve is a story about transformation and triumph. In the midth century, Petrarch was a book lover: Christian ideals; and “The Way Things Are” which is an excellent breakdown of Lucretius’s atheist manifesto.

Trivia About The Swerve: For other uses, see Swerve disambiguation. Epicurus believed that one should live modestly and pursue knowledge of nature and one’s own mind. Greenblatt that the Catholic Church is, was, and always will be the greatest obstacle to progress.

‘The Swerve’: Ideas That Rooted The Renaissance

Because their conspicuous professions of piety, humility, and contempt for the world are actually masks for avarice, laziness, and ambition. Indeed, he manages to get from Breenblatt to Jefferson in less than fifty pages. The Sceptics were one of the three grand philosophic schools of the Hellenistic period. Greenblatt is a quite enthusiastic adherent to Lucretius’s philosophy, but his explanation is just an uncritical summary.


Learn more about Amazon Prime. It made sense, swreve accepted it. If you think Greenblatt is going to show you an influence of epicurean thinking you never knew about, don’t bother with this book.

September 26, hardcover September 3, paperback September 19, kindle. Yet nowhere does it do so. He is a charmer and he has to be to convince monks to allow him to poke among the dusty remains of ancient texts in their libraries.

The story told by this book begins with Poggio Bracciolini visiting at a monastery in central Germany — almost certainly the Benedictine abbey of Fulda – searching for old manuscripts. On a fateful January day inthe intrepid Poggio found himself in the library of a German monastery and reached up for a manuscript. The article synthesizes various passages from The Swerve:.

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

Historian John Monfasani credited the book with “grace and learning” but found Greenblatt’s Voltairean and Burckhardtian interpretation of De Rerum Natura and the Renaissance “eccentric”, “questionable” and “unwarranted”. Medieval readers and writers greenbaltt just clergy — lay culture was widely influenced by texts and documents, especially following the 10th century were apt to believe anything they read in an old book just because it was old and from a book.

The story grdenblatt told with all Greenblatt’s style and panache. It more or less works for De Rerum Naturawhich was indeed “lost” or at least not often recopied between the 13th and 15th centuries and then found on greenhlatt particular day by an individual humanist.

Tells the story of the 15th century discovery of a manuscript of a previously unknown classic text, De Rerum Natura On the Nature of Things by Lucretius, written in the first century BC. But, Greenblatt tells us, this particular ancient book, suddenly returning to view, made a difference.

It is probably no accident that so few copies of “On the Nature of Things” survived the Medieval era. For that, I give the book 2 stars. How the World Became Modern. True–it’s a tale of passion and sacrifice, but also of fanaticism greenblatr philosophical determination. In a sense, if Greenblatt wanted to write about the subversion of medieval verities, he picked the wrong horse.


But in the early 15th century you might find yourself as the equivalent of senior speechwriter for the pope. You can see why the church would not be too pleased to see this poem circulating.

He follows “the swerve” of Lucretius’s atoms briefly into the works of Shakespeare and Montaigne. The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve.

Why Stephen Greenblatt Is Wrong — and Why It Matters – Los Angeles Review of Books

Nevertheless, they sound surprisingly modern. Turns out Lucretius was a pretty cool dude. No one can tell the whole story, but Greenblatt seizes on a crucial pivot, a moment of recovery, of transmission, as amazing as anything in fiction.

Show 25 25 50 All. Humans are not unique, the centre of the universe, or endowed with an eternal soul. The poem is indeed unsettling. This page was last edited on 17 Novemberat Despite the fact that the poem was heretical to the Catholic Church, Bracciolini helped to distribute the poem, which gradually liberalized the p This is an interesting book, primarily about the poem On the Nature of Things by Lucretius.

Preview — The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt. And it indicates too that Poggio and his fellow humanists in the curia struggled to channel their anger and disgust into more than obscene laughter and violent quarrels with one another.

What he found was a ninth-century manuscript copy containing the entire 7,line text of De Rerum Natura “On the Nature of Things” by Lucretius.

Bracciolini was a manuscript hunter. Virgil, Ovid and Aristotle were more or less continuously read from antiquity until the age of print. Alexandria housed one of the greatest schools of the Neoplatonists.