Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus To Pornography

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9780312146023: Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus To Pornography

An examination of the meaning of moral responsibility in literature and our everyday lives suggests that we live in a violated world that dismisses taboos. BOMC & History Alt. Reader's Subscription Main. First serial, The New York Times Book Review.

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Review:

An intellectual tour-de-force, Forbidden Knowledge is a study of the ethics of literary and scientific inquiry. Shattuck first approaches his subject indirectly, conducting an engaging tour of Western literature: Adam and Eve, Prometheus, Milton's Paradise Lost, Goethe's Faust, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. He then uses these tales to address the moral questions raised by mankind's tendency to search for dangerous knowledge. He contrasts J. Robert Oppenheimer's acceptance of guilt for the atomic bombings with Edward Teller's dismissal of the same. In his own field of literary criticism he argues against the neutral analysis of immoral works as "pure literature," illustrating his point with a critique of the Marquis de Sade. Forbidden Knowledge is a stimulating and forceful intellectual argument against moral relativism, as well as a practical approach to difficult ethical problems, from genetic engineering to pornography.

About the Author:

Mr. Roger Shattuck's scholarly contributions included writing three books on Marcel Proust, one of which won a National Book Award in 1975. His intellectual journey included a groundbreaking work on the rise of the avant-garde in France in the decades preceding World War I and a provocative examination of the famed "Wild Boy of Aveyron" as a study of how humans develop intelligence. In all, he wrote 16 books, including six translations.

Roger Shattuck, a polyglot scholar and writer whose many subjects ranged from the emergence of modernism to whether some knowledge might be too dangerous to know, died on Thursday at his home in Lincoln, Vt. He was 82.

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Shattuck, Roger
Published by St Martins Pr, New York (1996)
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Book Description St Martins Pr, New York, 1996. Book Condition: New. No Jacket. First Edition. 369 pages. Examining the meaning of moral responsibility in literature and in our everyday lives, Shattuck also suggests that we live in a violated world that dismisses taboos and fails to heed the wisdom of that which is sacred. (NA5000) 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 003036

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