The Eden Revelation An Evolutionary Novel David Rosenberg Dr. Rhonda Rosenberg “The greatest enterprise of the mind is the attempted linkage of the sciences and humanities.” E.O. Wilson
Fears of Extinction
A typical copying mistake
A character-driven evolutionary time
Smartphones in place of bananas
A buried Garden of Eden
Anna Freud and Adam and Eve
LINKS ABOUT BOOK, EPISODES, AND SUBJECTS
Video : Miami Book Fair
Publishers Weekly Starred Review
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—A link to Excerpts, long (for serial) and short (for quotation)
The Eden Revelation is also a story of close relationships upended by bewilderment, as happened to Adam and Eve, themselves among the characters in the novel. It is “bewilderment” in place of the dogma of Adam and Eve’s disobedience: eating the apple—the fruit of knowledge—has left them more naked than they already were. Now they are exposed to being eaten up inside with anxiety and qualms. At the same time, rather than cover up their inner lives with bluster, the contemporary characters of this interdisciplinary novel come closer to the actual historical scene of Homo sapiens’ evolving: a fossilized ecosystem unexpectedly dug up by the protagonist, renowned archaeologist Archibald Shechner.
The Rosenbergs have described The Eden Revelation as “a ‘new-normal’ novel” because it brings the archaic past into our present—just as the recent pandemic has forced into consciousness the archaic lifeform of “smart viruses”. The new-normal novel stretches beyond dystopias of the moment and our costume-drama view of history to express the longer arc that is rooted in evolution.
Seven centuries ago, Dante’s Purgatorio included our most extravagant depiction of Eden as an “earthly paradise”. Now, once again, Eden is brought down-to-earth, an ancient ecosystem scientifically and emotionally expressed. In Judeo-Christian tradition, Dante’s character of Wisdom within the Garden represents his idealized Beatrice. She is a figure paralleled by the female emanation of the Creator in Jewish biblical commentary, known as the Shechinah.
In our time, however, the voice of Wisdom is found at the center of a disturbed ecosystem. Archaeologist Shechner hears that voice break into his head as he unintentionally digs it up—and then it is transcribed during therapeutic sessions. His anxiety spreads to colleagues and a bevy of experts called upon to interpret the transcription, which has taken the form of a recovered Wisdom scroll. What is found there affects the personal and sexual relationships of all, in both ironic and profound ways.
In an advance starred review, Publishers Weekly concludes: “In the absence of a conventional narrative, the Rosenbergs make hay of the characters’ ricocheting analyses and revelations. This experiment pays off with dividends.”
A meditation on evolution, on sources of the Bible, and an enquiry into a unstable scientist complicated with sexual detours and a palimpsest on sex, here is a preliminary paragraph:
“A quarter century ago, when I was pushing fifty, I failed miserably to find a home for this work. At the time I didn’t take it seriously; I just assumed it was too real for the New Agers of the day and too imaginary for the literati, who were still avid about what I dubbed the ‘old fuck’ to want to feel deeper beneath it, toward what my semi-younger self had described as ‘an even more essential drive, right down at the root of life, and it’s the desire to evolve. It’s that desire that’s been totally buried in us. I was parroting the author…”.
Meanwhile, hundreds of species are evolving naturally all around us, from viruses and ants to rodents and trees. Can we harbor a deep-seated, unconscious drive to evolve? This unconventional novel answers in a chorus of voices, each in search of an unreasonable aspiration.