October 17, 2018

Jenny Davidson:

For the Love of Broken Things
Reid Hall | 4 rue de Chevreuse, 75006 Paris
Free and open to the public
For the Love of Broken Things: My Father, Edward Gibbon, and the Ruins of Rome

It was in the eighteenth century that historians first fell in love with the idea that one of the best ways of understanding the past must involve studying its broken remnants. Ruins and fragments, monuments and traces: a fascination with broken things has much to do with how Edward Gibbon came to write his magisterial History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Institute Fellow and Columbia University in the City of New York Professor of English and Comparative Literature Jenny Davidson will read two short excerpts from her book in progress, which interweaves some of her own family history with Gibbon’s story and the story of Rome and its ruins. The talk will conclude with a close look at some passages from Decline and Fall to show how much it has to offer readers today.


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