I am interested in how the dominant ideas in a culture change. Greenblatt’s The Swerve discusses how some early Renaissance Italians sought lost and forgotten works from antiquity to broaden their ideas. In particular it emphasizes the rediscovery of Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura.
I am not as unreservedly enthusiastic about Lucretius as Greenblatt is, but The Swerve includes much that is thought-provoking about a place and time that I need to better understand.
In the next few weeks I will quote a few of the passages that were especially memorable, important or amusing.
Greenblatt, Stephen. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011.