Saturday, December 06, 2003

BOOK NOTE from Harold Bloom in the Guardian:

AD Nuttall's Dead from the Waist Down (Yale University Press) is a superbly witty, lively and illuminating study of three related figures, Isaac Casaubon, Mark Pattison and Mr Casaubon in George Eliot's Middlemarch. Pattison served as Eliot's model for her unfortunate Casaubon, Dorothea Brooke's first husband. Pattison also wrote the best book on Isaac Casaubon, whose scholarship exposed the Hermetic Corpus as emanating from the second century of Alexandria in the Common Era, rather than from ancient Egypt. One can say that Nuttall charmingly reveals the spiritual impotence of many literary scholars today.

For the texts in question, see the Gnostic Society Library's Corpus Hermeticum web page. For brief background articles, see Wikipedia on Hermetica and Hermeticism. The best print translation is the one by Copenhaver listed in the former.

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