Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Hunters, Book Collectors & The Making of the Modern Age

A dangerous ancient poem, an intrepid book collector, monasteries, Popes and the dawn of a new age. Sounds like the latest thriller doesn't it? Instead it is the remarkable, true story of Poggio Bracciolini's discovery of a lost work by the Roman Lucretius, On the Nature of Things. This poem is largely responsible for influencing modern thinkers and finally put an end to the Middle Ages.

How could there be a major and profound shift in the world view of the time? Well, that's where libraries, librarians, avid book collectors, and avid copyists merged to unearth what had been forgotten for centuries.

If you haven't read The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt, it's in the New Book Area as you come into the lobby. If you haven't read On the Nature of Things, alas, you'll have to search elsewhere. Regardless, if you've ever doubted the power of words and the wonder of books, The Swerve will make you a believer - all over again.

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