Buzz: Stephen Greenblatt’s Adam And Eve Book Coming Soon?

I don’t see the book listed at Amazon yet, but in an interview last year, Harvard’s Stephen Greenblatt, an atheist, said his next book would be on Adam and Eve. He’s also been teaching a course on Adam and Eve at Harvard, so he must be pregnant with this new book (or perhaps its already gone to the publisher). Here’s Greenblatt’s mention in interview of the project:

In the case of “The Swerve,” “Will in the World,” or the book I’m working on right now about the story of Adam and Eve, there’s an enormous, daunting body of work on these subjects. You can’t do this [research] quickly. I tend to be omnivorous; I love going through enormous numbers of things. I’ve always been this way. While I go through an enormous amount of books and articles, I also know rather quickly if it’s something I need or don’t need. I try not to squelch my curiosity. In college, I found the shelf in the library with the new books that hadn’t been assigned call numbers [yet], and I would graze it and see where they ended up. I still have that kind of curiosity. I don’t read everything, but with these projects . . . there’s such a huge amount of new material, I try to get control of it as not to be completely swamped.

And here’s his description of the molten wave he surfs when writing a book:

Writing is a balance. If you wait too long [to write after you’ve started your research], then you’ve accumulated so much stuff that you hardly get the space to write — it’s like a tidal wave. If you start writing too quickly, it tends to harden on you like concrete . . . I try to keep it molten.

Perspective shifts with time.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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