Cultures of all epochs have consulted oracles in times of need. This fascinating exploration of the enduring popularity of oracles examines how they are interpreted and why. Taking examples from literature and history, from the oracles at Delphi to those in Macbeth, and further still to the works of Kafka and Bob Dylan, and even in the film The Matrix, Wood combines storytelling and commentary to provide a lively account of humanity's persistent faith in signs, which continues to exert an important influence on the course of civilization.
Michael Wood is Charles Barnwell Straut Professor of English at Princeton University. He is the author of three previous books, most recently The Magician’s Doubts, an acclaimed analysis of Nabokov’s works. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
“An immensely rich and provocative subject...Wood's wide-ranging and penetrating scrutiny is cogently philosophical, keenly aesthetic, and gratifyingly entertaining.” —Booklist
“There's a little something here for everyone...Sometimes erudite, sometimes esoteric, always unpredictable.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The Road to Delphi is a refreshingly original and sometimes startling rereading of oracles, from ancient ambiguities on through Shakespeare to our current perplexities of medicine and terrorism. For Wood, the gods keep returning, but only to confound us.” —Harold Bloom, author of The Western Canon
“If not an oracular pronouncement, then a source of terrific and myriad pleasures. Michael Wood's The Road to Delphi is all that and then some.” —James McManus, author of Positively Fifth Street