Adam's Curse: Reflections on Religion and Literature by Denis Donoghue

By Denis Donoghue

W. B. Yeats's poem "Adam's Curse" presents Donoghue with motif and incentive. In Genesis God says to Adam: "Because thou hast harkened unto the voice of thy spouse, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, asserting, Thou shalt no longer consume of it: cursed is the floor for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou devour of all of it the times of thy life." Yeats placed it this fashion: "It is sure there isn't any nice factor / considering that Adam's curse yet wishes a lot labouring." in response to a talk he had along with his liked Maud Gonne and her sister Kathleen, Yeats's poem thinks approximately how tough it really is to be attractive, to jot down nice poetry, to like. In his Erasmus Lectures, Donoghue thinks concerning the lasting problems fascinated by realizing, and dwelling with, cultural, literary, and spiritual values which are in stressed relation to each other. On those and comparable concerns, Donoghue enters into dialog with quite a few writers, a few of them-John Crowe Ransom, Hans Urs von Balthasar, William Lynch, Alasdair MacIntyre, Emmanuel Levinas, Andrew Delbanco, and Robert Bellah-signaled by way of the titles of the seven lectures. Into the thematic area prompt by means of every one of those titles Donoghue invitations different writers and sages to hitch the conversation-Henry Adams, William Empson, John Milbank, Czeslaw Milosz, Seamus Heaney, Gabriel Josipovici, and plenty of extra. The "talk," as it's possible you'll anticipate, retains coming round to the studying of particular literary texts: passages from Paradise misplaced, Stevens's "Esthétique du mal," fiction through Gide and J. F. Powers and J. M. Coetzee, to call just a couple of. In ADAM'S CURSE, Donoghue brings his designated intelligence to endure on the various intersections the place faith and literature provocatively meet.

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