Martha's Reviews > The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt
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Sep 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, world, atheism, reviews
Read from January 14 to 23, 2012

How De Rerum Natura was found in a German monastary and saved for us by an Italian Vatican apparatchik, plus medieval book copying, life in a monastary, Vatican politics, Florentine history, Epicurianism, why De Rerum was important to Montaigne and why it's important to us, and a beautiful account of the sad and noble life of Giordano Bruno. By the author of Will in the World--bio of Shakespeare. Greenblatt's a great writer--lovely pacing and clear explication.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Bruce I've read a number of short reviews of this book, Martha, and have wondered if it is worth reading. Do you have any comments that might be helpful?


Martha Bruce wrote: "I've read a number of short reviews of this book, Martha, and have wondered if it is worth reading. Do you have any comments that might be helpful?"

Yes, Bruce. It's terrific. About the finding in the 1400s of the ms of De Rerum Natura by Lucretius. In it you learn about medieval book copying, monastic life, papal history, life as a Vatican official in the early Ren., Florentine history, the late Roman Empire, and Epicurianism which was the Greek philosophical inspiration that led to the book. And of course there's an explication and summary of De Rerum itself which is astonishingly modern in outlook.

Well written and fascinating. Have you read Will in the World by the same author? I liked this at least as well. I'll read anything Greenblatt writes from now on. Definitely recommend it to you--it's a fast read too b/c Greenblatt is such a good writer and moves things along so skillfully. Let me know how you like it.


Bruce I'll read it, Martha! Yes, I have read Will in the World and liked it very much. And De Rerum Natura is one of my favorite texts, one I've read several times and certainly would not mind reading and studying again. Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts.


Martha Bruce wrote: "I'll read it, Martha! Yes, I have read Will in the World and liked it very much. And De Rerum Natura is one of my favorite texts, one I've read several times and certainly would not mind reading ..."

Looking forward to your review.


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