Sin of Knowledge by Theodore Ziolkowski
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Sin of Knowledge
By Theodore Ziolkowski

The Sin of Knowledge

Ancient Themes and Modern Variations

By (author) See other recent books by Theodore Ziolkowski
Format: Hardback

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Sin of Knowledge by Theodore Ziolkowski

Book Description

Adam, Prometheus, and Faust--their stories were central to the formation of Western consciousness and continue to be timely cautionary tales in an age driven by information and technology. Here Theodore Ziolkowski explores how each myth represents a response on the part of ancient Hebrew, ancient Greek, and sixteenth-century Christian culture to the problem of knowledge, particularly humankind's powerful, perennial, and sometimes unethical desire for it. This book exposes for the first time the similarities underlying these myths as well as their origins in earlier trickster legends, and considers when and why they emerged in their respective societies. It then examines the variations through which the themes have been adapted by modern writers to express their own awareness of the sin of knowledge. Each myth is shown to capture the anxiety of a society when faced with new knowledge that challenges traditional values. Ziolkowski's examples of recent appropriations of the myths are especially provocative. From Voltaire to the present, the Fall of Adam has provided an image for the emergence from childhood innocence into the consciousness of maturity. Prometheus, as the challenger of authority and the initiator of technological evil, yielded an ambivalent model for the socialist imagination of the German Democratic Republic. And finally, an America unsettled by its responsibility for the atomic bomb, and worrying that in its postwar prosperity it had betrayed its values, recognized in Faust the disturbing image of its soul.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691050652
ISBN-10: 0691050651
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Pages: 210
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 23-Oct-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Theodore Ziolkowski

Poetics of Quotation in the European Novel by Theodore Ziolkowski Poetics of Quotation in the European Novel, Paperback (February 2016)

Translation of Das Zitat in der Erzeahlkunst.

Alchemist in Literature by Theodore Ziolkowski Alchemist in Literature, Hardback (October 2015)

This study examines the figure of the alchemist in literature from Dante to the present and shows how the popular response to that figure has changed through the ages.

Classicism of the Twenties by Theodore Ziolkowski Classicism of the Twenties, Hardback (January 2015)

The triumph of avant-gardes in the 1920s tends to dominate our discussions of the music, art, and literature of the period. In this book, the author offers a compelling account of that movement. Focusing on the works of Stravinsky, Picasso, and T S Eliot, It shows how the turn to classicism manifested itself.

» View all books by Theodore Ziolkowski

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