Posts Tagged ‘Lucretius’

Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve

November 8, 2013


Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve is an intellectual narrative about the rediscovery in the 15th century of a Latin work that was almost lost, Lucretius’s On the Nature of Things. Poggio, a 15th century book hunter, found the manuscript tucked away and crumbling in a dusty library, but upon its reintroduction into the literary world, it came to have an astonishing transformative effect. Greenblatt tells this story, which might normally be restricted to a dry academic work, with all the flourishes of a modern story teller. It’s not a book for everyone, but for those interested in the history of ideas and the history of the book itself in Europe, it’s a fun and informative read.