There are two colossal forces at war with each other at the heart of the study of history: obsession and boredom. And, just like farts, when it comes to history, there's yours — and everyone else's. So how to make history interesting? Writer's Bloc presents “Stephen Greenblatt With Eric Idle” — two historians equally fascinated by the other's work, even if one's work is decidedly sillier and more quotable than the other. Greenblatt has just written a book called Swerve. In it, he details how an Italian manuscript collector, in his quest for ancient Roman manuscripts in 1417, stumbled upon On the Nature of Things, a work by the philosopher Lucretius that, when returned to Rome, rocked the fusty foundations of the papacy and later influenced everyone from Thomas More to Charles Darwin. Eric Idle, an expert in medieval history and never one to let Michael Palin get him down in the globetrotting department, discusses the implications of both Greenblatt's and Lucretius' works with Greenblatt, wondering how many Monty Python quotes he's going to have to suffer hearing in one night before he himself is history. Temple Emanuel, 300 N. Clark Drove, Beverly Hills; Tues. Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.; $20. (310) 335-0917,

Tue., Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m., 2011

LA Weekly