Stephen Greenblatt with Lesley Hazelton
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. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stephen Greenblatt, a Harvard professor and general editor to The Norton Anthology of English Literature, explores its literary and cultural history in The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve.
Tracking the tale into the deep past, Greenblatt uncovers the tremendous theological, artistic, and cultural investment over centuries that made these figures so profoundly resonant in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worlds and, finally, so very “real” to millions of people even in the present. 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.