Breaking Bread with the Dead

Reading the Past in Search of a Tranquil Mind

Alan Jacobs
AUD $24.99
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The past isn't cancelled: it's not even past. How to cherish authors from Aristotle to Edith Wharton without succumbing to their most regrettable parts.

Should we still bother with the supposedly great works of past ages? Aristotle believed that men were naturally superior to women. Kant wrote that 'Humanity is at its greatest perfection in the race of the whites.' The Founding Fathers declared it 'self-evident' that all men are created equal, but nevertheless owned slaves. Small wonder that many readers prefer to close the book on the past. Rather than dwell amid the squalor of history, shouldn't we focus our attention on hopes for a better world?

The literary scholar Alan Jacobs hears you. He gets it. But you're wrong.

In a scintillating work that weaves together the Book of Genesis and Thomas Pynchon, the Roman poet Horace and Simone Weil, Jacobs shows how our encounters with the past in all its disturbing strangeness may be our best chance at winning a measure of mental freedom.

Author bio:

Alan Jacobs is the Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Baylor University. He has written for the Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, and Harper's and is the author of several books, including a biography of C. S. Lewis, an essay on the pleasures of reading, and How To Think.

Category: Literature & literary studies
ISBN: 9781788162999
Publisher: Profile Books
Imprint: Profile Trade
Pub Date: September 2020
Page Extent: 192
Format: Hard Cover
Subject: Literature & literary studies