Origin of the Species?

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

In Dürer’s etching they stand with their heads bent, about to take the fatal bite. In Masaccio’s fresco they flee, Eve’s mouth gaping in agony. The Fall of Man has fascinated many: it’s when we become mortal, knowing and sexual all at once. In this new book, Stephen Greenblatt turns his attention to Adam and Eve. In a departure for Greenblatt, this is an attempt at a full cultural history of the kind we might associate with Marina Warner. It was triggered by a visit to a pairadaeza, an old Persian garden, in Iran. He describes reaching, after driving for hours through desert, ‘a relatively small, dusty, square space with very old cedar trees lined up in rows along very straight paths

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

RLF - March