Stephen Greenblatt: The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

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Stephen Greenblatt discusses how in the beginning, written in clay, one-thousand years before either Homer or the Bible, the epic of Gilgamesh told the triumphant story of a profound bromance between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Following his National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize celebrated The Swerve, in the elaborately readable The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve Stephen Greenblatt explores reasons why the story of Genesis has seized the imagination. Questions related to the restrained lines of the Adam and Eve story, its possible interpretations, have been observed by St. Augustine, Albrecht Dürer, John Milton, and Mark Twain, to name just a few. In the garden, how could Adam and Eve know of death before the apple was bitten? How, without knowing of good and evil, could they know of prohibition? Was Eve a hero? Or rather, was not Eve obviously a hero?

Photo by Sean Dellorco