The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999 - Literary Collections - 254 pages
5 Reviews
In the tradition of nineteenth-century novelists who turned to the essay, Marilynne Robinson offers a beautiful and authoritative approach to refining the ideas our culture has handed down to us. Whether considering how the McGuffey readers were inspired by midwestern abolitionists; how creationism, "long owned by the Religious Right," has spurred on contemporary Darwinism; or how John Calvin, who was a Frenchman in Geneva, points to America's continental origins, Robinson writes with great conviction. Her essays are filled with the excitement of discovery. "Who can imagine how the things we call ideas live in the world," she writes, "or how they change, or how they perish, or how they can be renewed." In these ten essays, Marilynne Robinson brilliantly addresses subjects that have become the territory of specialists - religion, history, the state of society. The writing is "contrarian in method and spirit," as she states in her introduction, but "Who can imagine how the things we call ideas live in the world, or how they change, or how they perish, or how they can be renewed?" In the tradition of nineteenth-century novelists who turned to the essay, Marilynne Robinson offers a beautiful and authoritative approach to refining the ideas our culture has handed down to us. Whether considering how the McGuffey readers were inspired by Midwestern abolitionists; how Creationism, "long owned by the Religious Right," has spurred on contemporary Darwinism; or how John Calvin, who was a Frenchman in Geneva, points to America's continental origins, Robinson writes meticulously and with great conviction. Her essays are filled with the excitement of discovery.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
1
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

Great prose, backed with some good ideas and some dubious ones. Robinson makes sweeping generalizations that'll rub you the wrong way if you have any 'intellectual' pretensions at all, as I do, but ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LukeS - LibraryThing

This book is next to impossible to rate: you want to alert readers to the loveliness of the prose, and I for one wanted to admire the logic and cogency of the arguments, for I love and cherish this ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Introduction
1
Darwinism
28
Facing Reality
76
Family
87
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
108
McGuffey and the Abolitionists
126
Puritans and Prigs
150
Marguerite de Navarre
174
Marguerite de Navarre Part II
207
Psalm Eight
227
Wilderness
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Marilynne Robinson is the author of HOUSEKEEPING and MOTHER COUNTRY, which was a finalist for the National Book Award for nonfiction in 1989. She has taught at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop since 1991. THE DEATH OF ADAM received the PEN/Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. In 1998, Robinson received a Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Iowa City.

Bibliographic information