Back to Methuselah
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Back to Methuselah

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  140 ratings  ·  14 reviews
George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in 1856. Before becoming a playwright he wrote music and literary criticism. Shaw used his writing to attack social problems such as education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege. Shaw was particularly conscious of the exploitation of the working class. Back to Methuselah is a series of five plays: In the...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 28th 2008 by Book Jungle (first published 1921)
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David Sarkies
Aug 09, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philosopher & Christians
Recommended to David by: I saw it at a bookshop
Shelves: philosophy
The evolution of Humanity played out on stage
27 March 2014

When I picked this book up again I noticed that I have already read and commented on it, and I suspect that the comment that I wrote was back when I simply commented on books that I had already read not realising that there were a number of books that I wanted to read again (including this one). However I have decided that what I will do is write an updated commentary, though I still believe the comments that I made originally still hold...more
Erik Graff
Jul 27, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Shavians
Recommended to Erik by: Kenneth Bennett
Shelves: drama
One of Dad's oldest friends, Ken Bennett, former professor of English at Lake Forest University, is a Shavian; I'd enjoyed the little Shaw I'd read and the description of Methuselah in a book of the world's greatest literature I'd poured through for ideas for future reading had made the five plays sound very intriguing, so I bought the thing and dived in, reading it every night at my ER desk at Evanston Hospital.

Well, I finished the thing, but couldn't say I was much impressed. The plays are int...more
David Sarkies
Mar 21, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Open minded Christians
Recommended to David by: Nobody in Particular
Shelves: modernist
The evolution of humanity played out on stage
23 July 2011

This play is my favourite Bernard Shaw play next to Pygmalion, and having been written in the early twenties, it not only shows some more maturity in the playwriting, but also explores a topic that was believed to be dead after World War I: the concept of Human Enlightenment.
The concept, popular in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century was that after almost a century of peace that the human race was on the doorstep of a new golden...more
E.J. Matze
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a play by G. B. Shaw, first performed in 1922; it is its author's most complete dra...more
شيماء الكثيري
العودة الى ميتوشالح !

القسم الأول : في البدء، عام 4004 ق. م ( في جنة عدن)
القسم الثاني : انجيل الأخوين بارناباس ( الوقت الحاضر )
القسم الثالث : الشيء يحدث ( عام 2170 )
القسم الرابع : مأساة السيد كهل ( عام 3000 م)
القسم الخامس : أقصى ما يمكن أن يصل إليه الفكر ( عام 31920 م)

أكثر فهرس ابهرني إطلاقًا، لم أتردد في استعارتها بعد قراءتي للفهرس

مسرحية محيّرة، فكرتها ساحرة وعظيمة، وتحتوي على أفكار رمزية وفلسفية .. لكن للأسف معالجتها سيئة، الكثير من الأشياء غير مترابطة وغير مفهومة .. اعجبني الفصل الأول والأخي...more
IN THE PREFACE,SHAW'S suggestion of an INCREASED LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH attainable through CREATIVE EVOLUTION is not a viable proposition - however i liked it - KNOWLEDGE IS AN ENDLESS PURSUIT AND ONE LIFETIME IS NOT ENOUGH - FRANKLYN AND CONRAD are unanimous in this context and even after things are out of scientific favour,the proposition rings out loud to me at least - our follies pave the path for future accomplishments and so EVE thinks that her future sons would indulge in better things...more
Paul Kieniewicz
This is one of those fascinating works that has the potential to change your life, or at the least the way you see your life. While countless science fiction novelists glibly deal with immortality as if it were just a fine way to live, Shaw explores the psychological consequences. What sort of mind would it take, if you decided to live for, say 300 years? Would you have the strength for such a life? Could you live with yourself for that long? Take a journey through the five plays of this cycle....more
My first Shaw play. From 1921, Shaw is definitely reeling from the war in this imaginary retelling of a past and future Genesis. The surreality of the play however keeps me from wondering how serious - or comic - the play is supposed to be.

Another last thought: I kept reflecting on how contemporary audiences, even Christian ones, would probably not be biblically literate enough to understand such an anti-Christian play.
Mike Harmon
Bernard Shaw explores the psychological consequences of immortality in a series of 5 plays that dramatize the evolution of humanity:
In the Beginning (B.C. 4004), The Gospel of the Brothers Barnabas (Present Day), The Thing Happens (A.D. 2170), Tragedy of an Elderly Gentleman (A.D. 3000), As Far as Thought Can Reach (A.D. 31,920).
If I had not read the preface, I would have thought it was dated fiction punctuated by moments of humor. Knowing that Shaw saw his wishful thinking as some sort deep truth, however, spoiled the fun.

my favorite quote: "You are always in little squabbling cliques; and the worst cliques are those which consist of one man."
Strange - a sort of extremely slow progress that runs antithetical to modernity. In many ways (in terms of the nonfiction aspect of Shaw's project), J.B.S Haldane's "Daedalus, or, Science and the Future" is far superior, or Bernal's _The World, the Flesh, and the Devil_.
I found this book fascinating - the whole idea of people living longer & what that might look like. Very science fiction in an old-fashioned way :)
the story about adam and eve is great. referenced by kurt vonnegut jr.
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George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, socialist, and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama. Over the course of his life he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his plays address prevailing social problems, but...more
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