Horizon, Autumn 1965 – 2

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Part 2 of the Autumn 1965 issue.

‘A Museum with a Mission’ focuses on the newly-opened Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park.

With more than one hundred thousand exhibits, it joins the ranks of the world’s great museums…Vast as the total area is, the sensitive scaling of such elements as stairways and doors, the interplay of gardens and glass-walled galleries, serve to invite rather than intimidate visitors, many of whom will be entering a museum for the first time…Mexicans are coming away from Chapultepec Park with a new understanding of their culture. It is, indeed, an accomplishment unsurpassed elsewhere in the museum world.

The central courtyard is seen here:

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The section devoted to the Aztecs includes the Calendar Stone and the goddess Coaticue:

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In ‘Some Non-encounters with Mr. Eliot’, Francis Russell writes about his several near misses with T.S. Eliot, who ‘made poets look like board chairmen’ with what Virginia Woolf called his ‘four-piece suits.’ The first was in 1932, when Eliot give a lecture at Harvard as Norton Professor of Poetry. It was his first trip back to America after eighteen years away:

I think most of us were there that evening not so much to hear what Eliot had to say as out of curiosity about his person…And though few of us would have admitted it, one of the things we were all wondering was what sort of accent he would now have.

…The former United States citizen, now a British subject, had certainly absorbed his later surroundings. There was nothing American about him. I suppose he was the last Norton lecturer who ever appeared in white tie and tails.

During the year Eliot was at Harvard, Russell used to see him at High Mass at the Episcopalian (Anglican) Church of St John the Evangelist. He later saw Eliot when both were staying at the Society of St John the Evangelist’s monastery in Cambridge, Massachusetts:

I suppose I could have met him easily enough just by speaking to the Father Superior. But I never did. Somehow, I could never think of anything I wanted to say to him.

Years later he discovered that his college friend Dick was Eliot’s cousin – he described Eliot’s mother:

‘…a terrible bluestocking. I remember her all right. She was forty-four when he was born. Not many people know it, but he really left this country to get away from her. He loved her, I guess. He always wrote her and used to send her all his books. But he never really felt safe unless he had the Atlantic between them.’

6504 - EliotAfter the war, Russell moved to London and was living in Chelsea, where he often saw Eliot on the Number 11 bus, on his way to the Faber & Faber office at Russell Square. By then he had then written Four Quartets:

Within the aspects of this extended poem, Eliot attempts to come to grips with the deepest problems that human beings have to grapple with: his own and human destiny, life and death, life or death, the mystery of time passing and time to come, the ultimate meaning of his religious beliefs.

In ‘The Marble Cottages’, Mary Cable writes about the grand nineteenth century mansions of Newport, Rhode Island including Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s The Breakers:

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Ships arrived from Europe with entire cargoes consigned to Mr Vanderbilt. The Breakers’ music room was designed and executed down to the last detail in France and shipped in packing cases, like a prefabricated house, along with the workmen to put it up. To make this palace supremely fireproof, no wood was used in its construction and the furnace room was placed underground some hundreds of feet away…

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The greatest difficulty with these brand-new palaces was to keep them from looking new…Thirty-ton trees were, therefore, hauled in and planted at a cost of nine hundred dollars per tree, but they often failed to thrive in the continual sea wind. It was a difficulty shared by all Newport ‘cottagers’, and when property changed hands, a departing owner often took his trees with him, for they represented a separate and considerable investment.

In ‘The Spanish Inquisition’, Henry Kamen describes the practices that gave rise to the ‘Black Legend’, which he himself would later criticise:

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A feature on Lake Geneva, ‘The Thinking Man’s Lake’ with text by Associate Editor Norman Kotker describes how ‘in the sixteenth century, John Calvin and his followers strove to construct the kingdom of heaven on earth. To Calvin’s holy city came exiles and visionaries from all the lands of Europe, followed – in succeeding centuries – by others who were merely seeking a refuge.’ As a result:

…for centuries it has attracted to its shores a constellation of literary talents astonishing for an area so small and so relatively remote from the great capitals of Europe. Here lived Rousseau, Voltaire, and Byron, whose names have been closely identified with the lake ever since; and in their wake came scores of others – novelists as diverse as Dostoevsky and Louisa May Alcott; romantic poets in exile, from Shelley to Mickiewicz the Pole; and numerous literary hangers-on, Boswell and the beauteous Mme Récamier among the most prominent. The auspicious influence of the Genevan shores is reflected in the work of most of these writers; and among the products of their stays are such masterpieces as The Social Contract and The Prisoner of Chillon, Frankenstein and The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

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The castle at Chillon which inspired Byron:
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Horizon, Autumn 1965 – 1

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Another issue with so many goodies that I’ve split it into two.

This issue’s cover shows in a detail from an 1891 poster for the Moulin Rouge by Toulouse-Lautrec, featuring the performer La Goulue.

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Inside an article on the exclusive Jockey Club of Paris is a portfolio of Belle Epoque posters:

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Also in this issue:

6504 - Contents.

In ‘The House of Lords’, Sybille Bedford writes about that institution’s history, its then-present, and uncertain future. The main issue about the Lords at that time was ‘the hereditary element’, which ended up being almost completely removed in 1999, leaving the Life Peers:

It is not the very small and active, but very large and dormant, membership that gives concern: the prospect of some hundreds of Colonel Blimps and Uncle Matthews stomping unbidden into Westminster whenever an issue stirs them, sitting in glowering silence through the debate – backwoodsmen never speak – and stubbornly crowding into the ‘No’ lobby.

6504 - House of Lords 2

The failure of the abolition of the death penalty in 1956 was an example of this. But:

G.K. Chesterton once noted that the Lords are really more representative of England than the Commons, for politicians are all more or less of a type while peers vary among themselves as widely as other men.

…[Is] there not something to be said for having in Parliament a proportion of men who admittedly owe their position to chance, but not to favor (birth knows no political debt), who do not have to scramble for nomination and election, who do not have to consult anyone but their own sometimes eccentric selves, who will not have to change with every shifting wind nor please on every television screen? Is the hereditary lottery – under a constitutional rule of law – really so much more hazardous and scaring than the bottomless lottery of the polling booths? Perhaps, to paraphrase Bagehot and someone else, the nobility is of great use, too, in what it prevents. It prevents the rule of ambition, the religion of the bitch-goddess popular success.

6504 - House of Lords 1

‘Irish Time’ features pictures of Irish life by Henri Cartier-Bresson, with lengthy captions by Lord Kilbracken:

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There is always time in Ireland. Or, if you prefer, time has no existence. Both statements are true to the point of being interdependent, and only a mere purist would call them contradictory…The black-shawled Connemara woman, making her way to town on a misty winter’s morning, has time to cover the five or six miles on foot, and will think nothing of it, if no neighbour with car or cart is heading her way.

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There’s time to talk in Ireland (let no one call it gossip) whenever two or more persons congregate…In an unknown tobacconist’s it would be a breach of good manners to say without preamble: ‘A packet of Aftons.’ A relationship should first be established with the man behind the counter as a fellow member of the human race. A meeting of the eyes, a remark about the weather, a line or two of dialogue; then, almost as an afterthought, ask for cigarettes. The four Dublin cronies on their brickish street corner will give the camera a moment; then they will be back at it hammer and tongs.

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Of animals in Ireland, the horse is undoubted king; in no other country, surely, are there more equine experts to the furlong…Horseplayers in the United States are not noted for their acquaintance with the saddle; the great majority, indeed, have never sat on a horse. In Ireland it’s different: every racegoer (it seems) is jockey, trainer, tipster, tout, owner, breeder, stableboy or bookie – or maybe a bit of each. This apprenticeship to the turf starts at a very early age, as these two young gentlemen bear witness. And when the elder has finished marking his card (a serious business) and has appraised the runners through his outsize binoculars, they are likely to go off together to put half a crown on their fancy. And it will very probably win.

In ‘A Pearl on the Toe of India’, Santha Rama Rau writes about Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon:

6504 - Ceylon 3

Of all the heady and inviting names that have been given to Ceylon in the course of its twenty-five hundred years of history, perhaps the one most in keeping with the island’s reputation for allure is the old Arab name Serendib. Indeed, so pleasing was the name and the promise it held, that Horace Walpole evolved from it the word ‘serendipity,’ which came to mean a faculty for making delightful chance discoveries. This air of happy surprise fills so many of the accounts of Ceylon left by travelers through the centuries that all the various names and sobriquets given to it carry some feeling of its unfamiliar marvels, and in themselves chart the island’s exotic and diverse history.

Included are pictures of the hilltop fortress of Sigiriya, now a World Heritage Site:

6504 - Ceylon 16504 - Ceylon 2

Horizon, Autumn 1973

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This issue’s cover shows Saint Sulpice, a 1965 collage by Max Ernst, pioneer of Dada and Surrealism. It illustrates ‘An Irresistible Force Called Max Ernst’, a survey of his work by the British art critic John Russell. Ernst was then 82.

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Also in this issue:

7304 - Contents

In a special section on ‘The Good Life’, Walter Karp writes that in the America of 1973:

A divisive war has ended, a youth rebellion has petered out, the college campuses are silent as burnt-out volcanoes, yet there has been no return to ‘normalcy.’ Instead there is abroad in the country a strangely unquiet spirit, a spirit of secession from society-at-large.

…The past few years have seen the rise of an extraordinary social phenomenon: the creation of thousands of planned communities, devoted, to one degree or another, to providing a few million Americans with alternative modes of living, alternatives, that is, to the common life.

In true Horizon fashion, he sees the present in the light of the past:

That so many Americans are willing to flee from each other seems an unmistakeable sign of social disintegration. Yet even Americans forget, in Jefferson’s words, that the sea of liberty is supposed to be turbulent. For better or worse, the proud refusal to accept the common lot, the courage to turn away from the given conditions of life, and the willingness to create new communities through covenants with one’s chosen companions constitute one of the grand themes of American history, beginning, indeed, with the Mayflower Compact.

Along with a Christian commune, the artisan community of Sugar Loaf, New York, a retirement village in Connecticut and people living on boats off Manhattan are the Videofreex:

7304 - Videofreex17304 - Videofreex2

‘Poetry in Hand’ is an extract from the book Autograph Poetry in the English Language, an anthology of facsimiles of original manuscripts compiled by P.J. Croft. Among them is this poem by Edward Lear:

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In ‘Crime Against the Person’, part of his series ‘In the Light of Past’, J.H. Plumb reflects on his own recent mugging on Brooklyn Bridge:

By the standards of England or France in the eighteenth century even modern New York is relatively crime free. Highwaymen infested London, robbing coaches in Hyde Park in broad daylight with impunity; travelers making the journey to Yorkshire without being robbed blessed their luck. Rape, often of the very young, was depressingly commonplace. Housebreaking ran neck and neck with mugging in prevalence and audacity; late in the century even Buckingham Palace was broken into and robbed. Gang violence and mob violence were endemic. Compared with the Gordon Riots in London in 1780, the ghetto riots of the late 1960’s in America appear like a fiesta of unruly children…

Violent crime has always been a young man’s game…Perhaps what industrial society has failed to do these last three hundred years is to provide adequate activities for aggressive adolescents, particularly those – mainly the poor – whose social lives provide none for them. Since the sixteenth century, affluence dangled before the poor and deprived has excited both cupidity and hate; the growth of great urban centers has created opportunity for anonymous violence; so crime has been endemic, becoming epidemic as the adolescent population has grown.

Soon the proportion of our own adolescent groups, which have swollen so greatly since World War II, will decline. And with that, doubtless, the mugging and raping will decline. At least for those who are violently robbed there is one mild consolation: it was worse in earlier times. This is not the first age in which the young poor have taken their personal revenge on the elderly rich.

In ‘How to Weigh an Elephant (and Solutions to Other Tough Problems)’, Edward De Bono, inventor of ‘Lateral Thinking’, gets children to solve problems and studies how they approach the solution:

7304 - De Bono 17304 - De Bono 2

Though some of the problems may seem frivolous at first glance, each involves essentially serious concepts. The cat-and-dog problem is ‘the basic political problem,’ requiring an understanding of psychology and of motivation…In short, amusing as their ideas are, children often go directly to the heart of the matter.

 

 

Horizon, July 1977

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This issue’s cover shows Mikhail Baryshnikov and Christine Sarry in Eliot Feld’s ballet Variations on “America”, illustrating an article on modern dance:

7704 - Cover

A Message from the Publisher, Rhett Austell, announces that Horizon is now going from bi-monthly (which began in January 1977) to monthly publication in September. This was the last hard-cover issue. It was the beginning of the end: American Heritage would eventually sell it off in 1978 and it would live on as a monthly, focusing more on current events in the arts, until 1989.

Also in this issue:

7704 - Contents

In ‘Ferment in Georgetown’, William Barry Furlong writes about Washington, DC’s oldest suburb, one of the first examples of ‘gentrification’:

…one could work in Washington, if one chose to do that sort of thing, but if one wanted to live, one had to go to Georgetown.

Nobody took this more to heart than the liberals of the Roosevelt era and their followers. They first came to town in 1933, and when they began looking for a place at a remove from the city, they found Georgetown, then a run-down neighbourhood – sleepy and forgotten. It didn’t bother them – as it did a lot of other people of the time – that many of the townspeople were black. ‘When we first moved here forty years ago, there wasn’t a white neighbour in two blocks around us,’ says Jean Friendly, whose husband, Alfred, later became managing editor of the Washington Post.

7704 - Georgetown

What the newcomers saw was not the color of people but the grace of living. ‘It was a countrified little place,’ says Jean Friendly. ‘You could have a yard and a garden and yet you were only five to seven minutes away from the office.’ Many homes could be bought for one thousand to three thousand dollars. Of course, the buildings were old – mostly from the Federal and Victorian eras – and dilapidated. But the newcomers felt that they could remodel and restore them quite attractively. ‘It was a place,’ says Mrs Friendly, ‘for people with more taste than money.’ Today some people in Georgetown wonder whether the reverse is not true.

7704 - Georgetown reno

In the Roosevelt years, Georgetown became established as a special place, with qualities in common with other fashionable enclaves that grew up in other American cities: it was in touch with history, and there was a major effort within the community to preserve and restore some of the very old structures; and it had a commercial shopping district that attracted a great many outsiders. Most of the blacks who lived in Georgetown forty years ago are gone today, although a few black families – themselves well-to-do – live at the eastern end of Georgetown, near the border with the city. Georgetown may be politically democratic and philosophically liberal, but it is anything but racially or economically integrated.

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In 1977 it had been two years since the end of the Vietnam War. In ‘America after Viet Nam’, Lance Morrow analyses why ‘predictions of continuing national tensions have not come true’ and comes to a surprising conclusion:

All analyses of the healing of America assume that it was deeply wounded in Viet Nam. Many journalists and other observers of the United States during the period do not believe that Americans were all that profoundly affected by the war. Gloria Emerson, who covered Viet Nam for the New York Times from 1970 to 1972 and then wrote a post-mortem on the war called Winners and Losers, declares: ‘The country was not particularly shattered by the war – so it is not surprising that a healing is occurring now. We are an inattentive and self-absorbed people. I suppose that inattentiveness is also a protection of sorts.’

Ward Just, who covered the war for the Washington Post, believes that the United States is divided into ‘two nations where Viet Nam is concerned – those deeply touched by what happened there (a minority) and those not affected (a very large majority).’ Just remembers visiting a Lake Forest, Illinois country club to give a lecture after he had been wounded in Viet Nam. The audience’s questions betrayed an astonishing ignorance. ‘They had simply tuned out the war,’ says Just.

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Former Briarcliff College President and Viet Nam veteran Josiah Bunting III notes that the students of 1977

‘…have turned inward, they have lost their idealism. The idea now is to get ahead, to get jobs. The war, McGovern’s defeat, Watergate, the recession  – all these remind me of what Disraeli said about Gladstone’s ministers: “a range of exhausted volcanoes.’”

7704 - Vietnam 2
In ‘The Impudent, Magical Silicon Chip’, Kenneth Lamott predicts the future:

 

An all-electronic mail system to take the place of the present, old-fashioned post office…The familiar hand-delivered, first-class sealed envelope would survive, one hopes, for that segment of the correspondence in which privacy will still be of some value…

A fully portable personal phone is predicted by RCA. People who have a phobia about talking on the phone will not be cheered by the microminiaturized version’s ability to go where you go.

The hand-held calculator will be succeeded by the hand-held computer. Besides becoming programmable, the personal calculator/computer will have a memory and will work with alphabetical words as well as with numbers…

By far the biggest changes the new electronics will bring to the average family will come from the home computer center…As a start, libraries will evolve into storehouses of microminiaturized information available to every home in response to a touch on a keyboard…

One of the most far-reaching consequences of the new electronics will be the liberation of workers in many occupations and professions from the central office.

7704 - Chip
In ‘Miró’s  Latest Works’, Edmund White writes about ‘the most famous of living modern painters’, who as a surrealist

…evolve[d] a style that was whimsical, gently erotic, and instantly identifiable as his own. This is the Miró most familiar to his American audience. More recently, however, he has been painting surprisingly brusque, even brutal pictures that, nevertheless, are as true to him as his earlier, gentler style.

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Horizon Caption: ‘At the Artigas cermics workshop, the artist, with José Artigas, paints unglazed tiles for the IBM mural.’

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Horizon, Winter 1966

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My copy of this issue has its cover on backwards – the title and date are on the other side:
6601 - Cover
The cover shows Portrait of a Lady by Rogier van der Weyden illustrating the major article ‘The Flowering of Flemish Art’, by John Canaday, art critic of The New York Times. He describes the background of early 15th century Flanders, with the best Flemish artists no longer being lured away to France after the 1415 French defeat at Agincourt, and painting in a locale that was ‘now bourgeois rather than princely…this tough-minded, practical society’:

The new society was not homely. If it was bourgeois, it was not provincial. Representatives of the great banking and merchandising firms went back and forth across all Europe, and foreign houses maintained their commercial ambassadors in the Low Countries. This was cosmopolitanism of a new kind, and was so conducive to growth, variety, and experiment that any suspicion of provincialism might better be attached to the preciously cultivated, closed society of the feudal courts.

He describes The Arnolfini Portrait:

6601 - Arnolfini

The textures of metal, glass, and wood, of velvet and linen, of the fur of the little dog, all accepting the light to reveal their own natures; the consistency of this light’s flow from its sources (one window seen, and one unseen in the foreground beyond the picture frame but revealed by the fall of light on the floor and on the bridal couple); the continuity of the space as we look into the picture, and the unquestionable truth with which each object assumes its distance from the eye and its proper relationship to the other objects in the painted room – all this description of light, space, and the solid volumes unifies the picture in ways that are explicable technically even if they are all but superhuman in technical execution. We have already said that at this level craftsmanship becomes genius, but the picture is also held together by the unanalyzable factor of the artist’s sensitivity to psychological unity.

‘The Flemish Eye’ is a gravure portfolio of details of paintings, including Quentin Matsys’s The Money Changer and his Wife:
6601 - Flemish 16601 - Flemish 2
Also in this issue:
6601 - Contents

In ‘Masada’ the Israeli archaeologist, soldier and politician Yigael Yadin writes about his excavation of the fortress, site of the mass suicide at the end of the Jewish Revolt in the years 73-74:

The Masada excavations were perhaps the biggest archaeological enterprise ever attempted in the Holy Land, and their yield has been enormous. We undertook two campaigns – seven months in 1963-64 and four months in 1964-65 – and by the first of May, 1965 we had excavated almost all of the entire built-up area of Masada. A small section was intentionally left excavated to give future visitors a “before and after” impression…

As important as the discoveries are, Masada will remain for all of us primarily a symbol for those who prefer death to spiritual and physical bondage.

There are photographs by Life Magazine’s Eliot Elisofon.

A cistern at the southern tip of Masada, excavated by Herod’s engineers:

6601 - Masada

An aerial view shows the Hanging Palace, with ruins of its circular pavilions in the foreground:

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In ‘Art and Taxes’, Jerome S. Rubin writes about the role of the taxman in the building of America’s greatest public art collections:

The combined effects of the income tax which limits the accumulation of wealth, and of estate and gift taxes, which limit its transfer to the private objects of the taxpayer’s affection, have been to sharply inhibit the private collecting of art on the grand scale in the United States. Other factors and influences aside, there has been a striking parallel between the rise of the role of the tax collector and the decline of the great private art collector in the United States…

The difficulty of accumulating capital or transmitting it to the next generation is, however, but half the story. The corollary of the eclipse of the private collector has been the refulgence of the public collector; the spectacular growth of museums and other public collections in the United States, especially over the past three decades, is also demonstrably linked to the brooding omnipresence of the tax collector…

The very origins of the National Gallery of Art, one of the most splendid repositories of works of art in the world, directly involved a brush with the tax collector [by US Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon], and the story illustrates, in rich Renaissance colors, the felicitous union of public benefaction and private tax saving.

David Levine provides the illustrations:

6601 - Mellon

In ‘The Making of a Cynic’, Morris Bishop tells the story of François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, 17th century author of maxims and memoirs. How does one write a maxim?

A maxim is an observation on behaviour, abstracted and generalized, laid to the account of humanity at large and expressed with the utmost concision. A perfect maxim is compounded with careful art; it requires a discovery of the only exact words, and sound structure of thought, and verbal harmony, rhythm, and balance. Its brevity is the product of long labor. It is the great achievement of the literary miniaturist.

6601 - Maxims

In ‘Light in a Thousand Dark Places’, J.B Priestley writes about H.G. Wells, seen here against a background of skyscraper images during the 1935 filming of his novel The Shape of Things to Come:

6601 - Wells

I reread The War of the Worlds after an interval of many years [to write an introduction], during which science fiction had become a recognized and widely popular genre. Scientific discovery and our technological triumphs have given contemporary writers a jumping-off platform, already almost out in space, that the young Wells of 1897 could not command. Nevertheless, he is easily their master. If you want science fiction at its best, then the early H.G. Wells is your man. Nobody has beaten him yet. One reason is that even here he is a novelist, not only discovering scientific wonders and menaces but also giving us people, not cardboard figures but real people in whom we can believe…

[His early science fiction was followed by] Kipps, Tono-Bungay and Mr. Polly, which represent his most personal and lasting contribution to the English novel. He stands or falls by them. And I think he stands.

Horizon, Spring 1976 – 2

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More from Spring 1976!

In Horizon’s ‘Landmarks of Film History’ series, Stanley Kauffmann writes about Federico Fellini‘s masterpiece, . After an outline of the plot:

That is the surface of . But the film is carried forward in surface and depth, in a tapestry of the real and the non real (if we use real to mean the present waking moment). Three kinds of nonreality weave around and intersect the bare outline above: Guido’s dreams, daydreams and memories. He spends about as much time out of present reality as in it…We see enough of Guido’s past to understand some of his fixations and aversions; we see enough of his dreams to understand his fears and desires; we see enough of his daydreams to understand why he is an artist and just what the solaces and limitations of his art can be.

8.5

The artist becomes the subject. This mode has long survived the formal romantic era, has survived realism and naturalism, has in fact become intensified in our century. Many film exemplify this, but none so thoroughly as . It is the quintessence of romanticism in the most serious sense: the artist as pilgrim, as both warrior and battlefield.

8.5.2

A note at the end shows how things were before home video: ‘A 16mm print of , in Italian with English subtitles, can be rented from CCM Films, 34 MacQuesten Parkway South, Mount Vernon, New York, 10550.’

In ‘The First King of Great Britain’, James VI and I is reevaluated by John Kenyon:

Compared with his glamorous and strong-willed predecessor Elizabeth I, James was not an effective ruler. He lacked the Tudor genius for self-advertisement and self-projection; he was basically a timorous man, not given to bold decisions and too set in his ways to initiate reforms…The major causes of the rebellion of 1642 were already present, and had been for several generations, and only a wholly original genius could have averted a crisis. James was not that original genius; but he was an intelligent and experienced ruler, competent and wise enough to avoid confrontations that Charles I later seemed to welcome.

James VI childhood

Kenyon describes James’ view of the role of the king:

James had the highest opinion of that office; he showed it in a thousand utterances, as well as in his writings. But to suppose, with one historian, that his concept of monarchy was ‘one of the fundamental causes of the constitutional revolution of the net three quarters of a century’ is patently ridiculous. The divine right of kings was the basic, prescribed teaching of the Church of England, and had been vigorously if not so volubly practiced by unimpeachable heroes of the previous age. When James told Parliament ‘Kings are, in the Word of God itself, called gods, as being his lieutenants and vice-regents on earth, and furnished with some sparkles of the Divinity,’ he was not expounding anything original.

Cockfight

In ‘The Stately Mansions of the RadiolariaStephen Jay Gould writes about single-celled organisms that stretch back 600 million years. Most nonvertebrate marine mammals build shells of calcium carbonate:

The Radiolaria, however, along with a small group of ‘glass’ sponges and the diatoms…build their hard parts of silica, a mineral with the same chemical composition as quartz and glass, which rarely occurs in inorganic matter.

The pictures were taken by Fritz Goro, who used ‘an interference-contrast system that adds color and accentuates structural details’:

Radiolaria F
Radiolaria A
Gould also writes about the German evolutionist Ernst Haeckel, ‘the Thomas Huxley of Germany’, whose Art Forms of Nature devoted ten plates to radiolarians. But Gould points out that ‘Haeckel was so convinced of the unerring geometric regularity of radiolarian parts that he drew many perfect symmetries not quite attained by the real beasts’:

Radiolaria Haeckel

In ‘Rodin’s Balzac‘, Frederic V. Grunfeld writes about the struggle and controversy the sculptor had with what he regarded as his greatest work:

Auguste Rodin‘s sculpture of Honoré de Balzac is an imaginary figure, sculptured half a century after the writer’s death. Yet it stands there with an imperturbable authority that instantly establishes this Balzac as the definitive Balzac – the image that comes to mind when we wander through some immense part of that immense literary landscape, The Human Comedy. Not that it is a conventionally heroic monument: the monk’s robe is a dressing gown with empty sleeves, carelessly thrown over his shoulders; the feet, poised in mid-shuffle, are clad in what appear to be slippers. Even the roughhewn surface suggests that this is a workman-sculptor’s tribute to a workman-writer; Balzac as Prometheus, but corpulent and ink-stained, a morning-after Prometheus. ‘I had to show Balzac laboring in his study,’ Rodin explained, ‘his hair in disorder, his eyes lost in a dream.’

Balzac heads

Rodin studio

Balzac nude

Balzac robe

Balzac Paris

Horizon, Spring 1976 – 1

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There are so many goodies in this issue I’ve had to break this entry into two!

The cover shows an illustration from Tacuinum Sanitatis, a mediaeval handbook on health and wellbeing, based on an 11th Century Arab medical treatise. It illustrates a special section, ‘Is Civilization Dangerous to Your Health?’ I wonder whether Managing Editor James F. Fixx might have had role in choosing this topic: his The Complete Book of Running came out the following year.

7602 - Cover

Looking at how people have pursued health and wellbeing through history, Editor Shirley Tomkievicz writes about those who have been creative despite ill-health: Balzac (whose statue by Rodin also features in this issue) ‘died of heart failure at fifty-one, but then, so has many another man without Balzac’s dependence on stimulants, and without writing The Human Comedy…To the question, Is health really necessary? one would, moving down the ages, receive a variety of answers – often negative. Much of the world’s most distinguished work has, it seems, been done while the worker was groping for the aspirin bottle.’

In ‘A Passion for the Hard Workout’, classicist Lionel Casson looks at the Greek and Roman approaches to health:

Among the Romans physical fitness was more as it is with us, a social and not a state matter [as it was with the Greeks] and something people went in for strenuously. Every Roman, rich or poor, male or female, repaired daily to the public baths, the poor at the end of their working day, the leisured long before that…The Roman moralist Seneca, who once rented a room over a bath, has left us a graphic account of what went on: ‘I live right over a public bath. Just imagine every kind of human sound to make us hate our ears! When the muscular types work out and toss the lead weights, when they strain (or make believe they are straining), I hear the grunting, and whenever they let out the breath they’ve been holding in, there’s the whistling and wheezing at maximum pitch….But if a ball player arrives on the scene and begins to count shots, then I’m done for!’

The bikini has been around for longer than you may think:

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‘Taking the Waters at Vichy’ includes this example of what went on at one of France’s most popular spa towns:

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In ‘Pursuing Health in the Promised Land’ Spencer Klaw describes the new boom in health and fitness in the 70s:

One of the more diverting aspects of life in America these days is the unprecedented intensity and passion with which Americans appear to be pursuing the holy grail of perfect health. The morning landscape teems with sweating joggers. Bicycles are popular again. In the privacy of bedrooms and living rooms millions of citizens daily bend and strain to keep fit and trim. Others repair to luxuriously appointed health clubs and yield themselves up to chromium-and-plastic machines that resemble in their mad complexity the constructions of the Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely. In the embraces of such machines they rhythmically flex and stretch their arms, legs, necks and torsos.

But he shows this is actually nothing new in America, where ‘A keen interest in the workings of the body, coupled with a profound mistrust of the medical establishment, is an old story.’ Examples include:
Samuel Thomson, herbalist.
• Vegetarians including Bronson Alcott and John Harvey Kellogg.
Gayelord Hauser, creator of Swiss Kriss laxative.
• Don Ethan Miller, author of Bodymind.

Also in this issue

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In ‘The War That Broke the Imperial Spirit’, Jan Morris (then working on Farewell the Trumpets: An Imperial Retreat, the final volume of her Pax Britannica trilogy) writes about the Boer War:

Strategy, economics, morality, instinct and now cupidity ensured that before long the Boer republics must be tidied up within the imperial logic.
…In December, 1895, there had been a British attempt to overthrow Kruger in in a coup d’état, the so-called Jameson Raid. It ended in fiasco, but by the end of the century the issue had gone beyond petty plots and maverick raids. Tempers were so inflamed, prejudices so rooted, consequences so inescapable, that war came about scarcely by intention at all.
…All in all the Boers were born irregular soldiers, perhaps the best guerrillas in the world.

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Morris describes engagements ‘each long ago apotheosized into myth’. Firstly, the British defeat at Spion Kop:

Spion Kop was one of the most cruelly confined of all battles. Some two thousand British infantrymen were packed within a perimeter of about a quarter of a mile, without water and, as the day wore on, in ferocious heat. They could scarcely move at all, and throughout the day they were shelled and raked with rifle fire. Time and again the Boers charged, at one end of the line or the other, to be beaten back with bayonets and bludgeon blows: all the British could do was hang on, for there was no hope of advance or retreat while daylight lasted. No orders reached them, no diversionary attacks could be made. Isolated on their high proscenium, the men on Spion Kop sweated and died through the long day, enacting a drama that had no meaning.

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Then a victory, the relief of the Siege of Mafeking:

Through the worst days of ignominy, Mafeking brilliantly kept the legend of empire alive. The defence of Mafeking, though no exhibition of military genius, undeniably had style; and style – as the queen’s soldiers lumbered dismayed and bewildered across the veldt, or lay maimed and bleeding on mountaintops – was what the empire badly needed. The whole world came to know the lithe figure of Baden-Powell, whistling with his telescope on his rooftop lookout; and it was wonderfully true to the Mafeking myth that when, after seven months, the first men of the relieving force clattered into the outskirts of the town, they got a laconic greeting from the first citizen they met. ‘Ah yes’, the man remarked, in the best Baden-Powell manner. ‘Ah yes, we heard you were knocking about.’

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The role of propaganda:

It was the very first of the propaganda wars. Every incident in the field, flashed across the world by electric telegraph, was magnified or distorted to prove a point or support an ideology. When, in Black Week, the British armies were disastrously defeated in three battles in a row, half the world laughed or cheered at their discomfiture; when, six months later, Mafeking was relieved at last, the other half indulged in such hysterical celebrations that the name of the little town went briefly into the English language: maffick, ‘to indulge in extravagant demonstrations of exultation on occasion of national rejoicing.’

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But in the end, ‘The Boer War cracked the confidence of imperialism…and among the mass of the British people it suggested a first nagging misgiving about the value of glory.’

In another part of Africa, Mary Cable asks ‘Who Built Zimbabwe?’, the ruined city in what was then Rhodesia, which eventually gave its name to the country. She writes of how the argument over who built it had become political when she was living there:

I found it curious that an obscure archaeological question could be of such lively general interest, and furthermore, that it could cause people to raise their voices, become flushed, and even stalk out of the room. The whole temper of white society in Salisbury was, and is, easily inflamed. Race and politics invade every aspect of Rhodesian life, and to ask ‘Who built Zimbabwe?’ is far from an idle pleasantry or a polite parlor game. Rather, it is to ask, ‘Was Zimbabwe built by blacks or whites?’ And in such circumstances, the person’s answer is likely to be taken as a quick index to his political bias; for to contend that Africans could of their own initiative build so rugged and impressive a structure as Zimbabwe is to suggest that one’s houseboy has a capacity for building something substantial too – possibly even a government.

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White Rhodesians believed it was the palace of the Queen of Sheba:

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More of this issue to come!

Horizon, Winter 1975

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The cover shows Vermeer’s Girl with a Red Hat. It illustrates Anthony Bailey’s ‘The World of Jan de Witt‘, which focuses on the Golden Age of the Dutch Republic in the 17th Century.

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De Witt, as Grand Pensionary of the province of Holland was effectively in charge of the United Provinces from 1653 to 1672.

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The merchant-aristocrats with whom De Witt was now closely tied imposed a lasting influence on Dutch society, manners and architecture. For them, the stately town houses rose along three great new Amsterdam canals – Herrengracht, Keizergracht and Prinsengracht – while for the lesser burghers who emulated them, smaller but similar houses were built on the streets running between. The term “regents” denoted the trustees, or syndics, of guilds, charitable organizations and almshouses; as time went on, the regents married into and absorbed the old nobility, and gradually became a self-perpetuating caste, favoring their own relatives for positions within their oligarchies. De Witt, no exception, got his brother appointed governor of Putten, his father a post on the Chamber of Accounts, and numerous cousins various other government positions. But he also refused favors to those he thought lacking in merit…

The regents’ government created a republic that Plato might have approved, ruled by an aristocracy of leading men. The great majority of people, though excluded from power, were satisfied with policies that avoided military entanglements of a kind the House of Orange might involve them in.

Neverthless, De Witt was eventually assassinated by supporters of William of Orange when the French invaded.

The issue contains a portfolio of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age:

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Also in this issue:

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Another Dutchman, pioneering abstract painter Piet Mondrian, is subject of an article by Peter Gay.

Mondrian was the most reluctant of revolutionaries: the deliberate, hesitant pace of his artistic career is a measure of the difficulty and the daring of the move to abstraction. It was not until 1911, when he was nearly forty, that Mondrian went to Paris and was, he recalled, ‘immediately drawn to the cubists, especially to Picasso and Leger.’ But ‘gradually’ he adds, ‘I became aware that cubism did not accept the logical consequences of its own discoveries; it was not developing abstraction towards its ultimate goal, the expression of pure reality’… [It] was not until 1917, when he was forty-five, that he took the last step and began to compose canvases consisting entirely of rectangles. The grids that won immortality for him are the work of an even older man: they date from 1920.

His unfinished Victory Boogie-Woogie is seen in his studio in 1944, and in colour:

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Arthur Koestler provides the introduction to ‘The Trial of Julius Háy‘, in which Háy, Hungary’s leading playwright, writes about his trial and imprisonment in the wake of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

According to Koestler:

It is a fact – which sounds strange if not incredible to Western ears – that the most dramatic popular uprising in postwar history had been initiated by a handful of writers: novelists, playwrights, historians, literary critics…[Where] opinions are regimented, whether it be czarist Russia or the Hungary of 1956, every independent voice, if it succeeds in making itself heard, carries an explosive potential. Hence the deep, reverberating echoes of Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn – or of the voice of the Hungarian Writers’ Union during that Budapest summer full of hope and promise…

Háy’s principal crime was a literary creation – Comrade Kucsera, a satire on the jackbooted party boss, ‘the bureaucrat in the seat of power, the exploiter of our society…

‘I really do not like Comrade Kucsera – and I have my reasons. Nor does Comrade Kucsera have any liking for me. For that too, there is a reason…

‘Kucsera is the great mistake in our History. Kucsera is the know-nothing by conviction and passion, who looks down on us from the pedestal of his ignorance and clings fanatically to the fallacious principle of the permanent sharpening of the class struggle.’

Literally overnight, Comrade Kucsera became a household word, like Scrooge or Tartuffe, a national symbol for the little Neros who ruled the country…

Stanley Kauffmann writes in ‘My Verdi‘ about how he discovered opera:

When I was twelve I began to do some writing for the old Metropolitan Opera House Program – biographical notes and verses and fillers. There was no money; I was paid in tickets. Those days, in the late 1920’s, were the days of vocal splendor (as phonograph records prove) and of empty houses. That boy of twelve or thirteen or fourteen attended many performances (over which opera lovers now weep), and sometimes he sat in a box alone, his feet extended on a gilt red-cushioned chair, and listened to Rosa Ponselle or Beniamino Gigli or Elisabeth Rethberg or Giuseppe de Luca or Ezio Pinza, watched Tullio Serafin conduct. And often, very often, it was Verdi. The Aga Khan could not have had opera in greater luxe or glory.

In 19th century Italy, operas were being commissioned all the time – La Scala in 1820 had eleven works in repertory, with four premieres:

…it could almost be said that, for an Italian talent of his day, it would have been more remarkable if he had not been drawn to opera.

This theatrical vocation meant for Verdi, as for all composers to whom opera has meant more than grinding out stage fodder, a concern with story, structure, characterization, and language that sometimes surprises those today who vaguely assume that the librettos were somehow always there and the verses unimportant. Verdi’s correspondence with his librettists quickly proves the opposite: ‘The phrase must have a turn that grips you!’ he wrote to one. ‘Theatre…theatre!’ More to the recurrent point of his concern with theatre was his continuing struggle with production problems, and especially with singers. As soon as he had enough reputation to stand up to opera stars, who requested alterations from composers at their whim, he did so.

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John Pfeiffer writes in ‘The Life and Death of a Great City’ about the project to map Mexico’s Teotihuacán.

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The city was begun about 100 BC and started going downhill around AD 750. He describes what the finds tell us about the life of the city:

As the city grew and consolidated, farmers to the south came down from their defensive hilltop positions to live on and exploit the abundant lowlands more fully. This implies that they no longer had anything to fear, since Teotihuacán was now in complete command of the area. The extent of the city’s power may be revealed in other developments. For example, in one hinterland area local populations declined by more than 60 per cent, probably because people from all over were migrating to the metropolis, and not necessarily of their own free will. Government troops may have forced some of them to move as part of a conscription drive for more workers.

The poet John Ashbery writes about E.V. Lucas and George Morrow‘s 1911 book What a Life!, whose use of collage (with images from the Whiteleys store catalogue) anticipated surrealism.

The book’s importance as an object of fantastic art was consecrated in the 1936 Museum of Modern Art exhibition of fantastic art, Dada and surrealism, where two of its illustrations were included at the suggestion of the writer Jay Leyda, who was at that time on the Museum’s staff and had discovered What a Life! in London a few years before.

Although there is no evidence that Max Ernst knew Lucas and Morrow’s little book, the resemblances between it and a work such as Ernst’s collage novel Une semaine de bonté are striking.

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P.S.: On the masthead I noticed the name of James F Fixx as Managing Editor. He later wrote The Complete Book of Running – then dropped dead at the age of 52 while running.

Horizon, Summer 1969

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This issue’s cover shows a detail from Paul Gauguin’s Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?:

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An illustrated letter to his friend Daniel de Monfried:

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Translated here (p.93)

Also in this issue:

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‘The Call of India’ by Frederic V. Grunfeld describes how in 1969 ‘thirty thousand young Westerners are on their way across Asia. What are they seeking: spiritual rebirth – desperate poverty – tantric visions – or Mother?’

Horizon caption: 'Drawn by India’s spiritual magnetism, an American youth, Terry Miles, sits in mendicant’s garb alongside the statue of a bulbous native holy man in New Delhi.’

Horizon caption: ‘Drawn by India’s spiritual magnetism, an American youth, Terry Miles, sits in mendicant’s garb alongside the statue of a bulbous native holy man in New Delhi.’

Our newly conceived passion for India, then, is only superficially concerned with the classic disciplines of Vedanta or Tibetan mysticism. It has more to do, I think, with the great nostalgic quest for our own past that begins in the romantic era when the Mediterranean, das land wo die Zitronen blühen, became the cynosure of all eyes. India to us is what Italy was to Shelley, Byron and Stendhal – a place to recover (or lose) our innocence, where we may solve our most pressing problem of re-entry: the difficulty we all experience of getting a sense of poetry to re-enter our lives.

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J.H. Plumb’s ‘In the Light of the Past’ series considers the history of astrology:

I suspect it strikes few readers that the silly astrological columns [in today’s newspapers] are the sad end of an extraordinary human enterprise…

The Earl of Shaftesbury, the violent Whig who nearly toppled Charles II from his throne by exploiting the hysteria of the Popish Plot in 1678-79, believed absolutely in astrology…Nor was Shaftsbury an isolated crank. The great Habsburg general Wallenstein, a leader in the Thirty Years’ War, took no action, military or political, without consulting the stars, and no one thought him either eccentric or pagan…

There is a need in man to know and to rationalize his universe through magic and through very precise and detailed knowledge. He derives a sense of security from knowledge…Man has always been, as it were, scientifically oriented, even if his earlier and more primitive sciences did not work very well…Many of their facts were right and beautifully observed; their pursuits led them to invent instruments of great ingenuity. What was wrong was their set of premises.

In ‘The Moon Stood Still on Strawberry Hill’, Peter Quennell writes about English Gothic Horror, whose creation is attributed to Horace Walpole. He is seen in the library of his ‘little Gothick castle’ Strawberry Hill:

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The fashion for gothic also manifested itself in architecture, with fake-mediaeval follies becoming popular. One design was for a hermit’s abode – with hermit:

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The political upheavals of 1968 continued into 1969. Along with a hostile article on Herbert Marcuse by Edmund Stillman, there is ‘The Anarchists (who are with us again)’ by J.W. Burrow, who looks at the anarchists of the 19th and early 20th centuries – including Peter Kropotkin, François Ravachol, Mikhail Bakunin, and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon – and their 1969 parallels:

The use of violence not so much for limited ends but as a form of propaganda, the repudiation of all centralized social organization as a denial of human freedom and spontaneity, the rejection of party hierarchies, left as well as right, are themes that bring the New Left far closer to the doctrines of nineteenth-century anarchism than to ‘orthodox’ communism. In place of a scientific and technological meritocracy the radical student movement and the New Left profess to offer decentralization, workers’ control of factories, student power, and a return in all activities to the human scale. These, as Paul Goodman recently pointed out, are virtually the standard anarchist proposals for a voluntary federation of self-governing enterprises. The enemy is seen as ‘the system’, an impersonal machine for turning human beings into cogs, components of the machine; and the classical protest against the machine is undoubtedly anarchism.

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Horizon, Winter 1970

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This issue’s cover shows Henri Matisse’s cutout Blue Nude with Flowing Hair:

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It illustrates Richard W. Murphy’s article ‘Matisse’s Final Flowering’, previewing a centenary retrospective of his work in Paris.

‘Carving in color,’ is what Matisse called his cutout technique, and he added that he wanted to do ‘the same thing in color that Michelangelo did in stone’…

He was largely bedridden during the last seven years of his life, the period to which the paper cutouts belong, and visitors to his apartment in the old Hotel Regina in Nice recall him sitting up in bed, fully and meticulously clothed, with his scissors, his colored papers, and the brushes and ink with which he made his late, magnificent black-and-white drawings arranged on a table that fitted over his knees.

Also in this issue:

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A letter from Contributing Editor Walter Karp, ‘The Attack on History’ claims that ‘the teaching of history is being seriously undermined’, and says Thomas Jefferson insisted that the study of history ‘is the very heart of education’:

It is the record of men deciding and aspiring, using power and abusing power, in their ceaseless attempts to achieve their purposes. History thus reveals the ways of men when they are free, for freedom, in its most profound sense, is the capacity of men to shape their own world. If history is taught as dead facts, it is being badly taught. If it is taught to inculcate “obedience” and “docility”, it has been perverted into propaganda.

As for the social sciences, the one thing they can never do is replace history. By their very nature, the social sciences show us men when they are not free. Psychology describes us insofar as we are bound by behavioral “laws.” Sociology describes us insofar as we are bound by social “forces.” Anthropology describes us insofar as we are bound by inherited “custom.” These sciences do depict mankind, but it is a partial picture…

In a republic, [Jefferson] said, the purpose of history is to ‘enable every man to judge for himself what will secure or endanger his freedom.’

Arnold J. Toynbee writes about the Buddhist shrine of Borobudur in Java, with pictures by LIFE photographer Eliot Elisofon:

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He compares it with the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens:

…the imposition of the architect’s pattern on nature’s craggy caprice has been a tour de force – the more so because the style of Ancient Greek architecture is ultra-geometrical. Here man has challenged nature, and he has been only partially victorious. The casing of the Acropolis’s flanks is incomplete, and the naked jagged rock still asserts itself defiantly between the symmetrical buildings. At Borobudur the landscape and the architecture are not contending with one another; they are in harmony. Here the builder has completely hidden the hill, from its flanks to its crown, but in hiding it he has reproduced it in a man-made medium. The masonry is as luxuriant as the jungle-clad mountain that rises above the platform on which the stupa stands, and as abundant as the rice fields in the valley toward which the ground falls away on the opposite side. But is ‘masonry’ an adequate word? The hill at Borobudur has been made into a building, but it is a building that is also a piece of sculpture.

…At Borobudur sculpture, masonry and hill are one.

In a three-part section ‘Crisis in The Papacy’, Paul Johnson describes the pontificate of Paul VI as ‘a catastrophe for his church and a personal tragedy for himself’:

That a pope should be repudiated, even reviled, by great masses of his followers; that his teachings on birth control, a major point of doctrine, should go unheard by a majority of the educated laity; that thousands of priests, and even princes of the Church, should accept it, if at all, with reluctance and with qualifications that make it meaningless; and that the Church itself, which has preserved its unity and discipline through two millenniums, should now be a bickering shambles – all this would have been inconceivable five years ago, and all is largely the work of one man.

In ‘The Papacy Since Peter’, the historian ‘Xavier Rynne’ writes:

The beginnings of the papacy are rather murky. Its title deed has never been adequately searched. Between the compilation of the New Testament, which is silent about any bishop of Rome, and the end of the second century, when the popes’ claim to pre-eminence in the Church foreshadowed what it would later become, there is a disconcerting gap.

‘Venice: Past And Present’ looks at the glory of Venice’s past and its present decay:

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James (now Jan) Morris describes how the city which once dominated the Mediterranean lost its power:

After 1500 the story of Venice is one of almost unbroken decline, but the process was so slow, and so disguised with pageantry, that the world scarcely knew what was happening…

Gradually, almost imperceptibly, the fire died. The merchant princes lost their high sense of dedication. The profit instinct was blunted. The steel determination flagged. The arsenal, once the supreme armory of the world, became no more than a second-rate repair yard. The flag of Saint Mark was seen with decreasing frequency on the shipping routes. The Venetian caravansaries of the Levant closed one by one, and year by year the islands and enclaves of the overseas empire fell away, until by the early years of the eighteenth century nothing was left but the Ionian Islands and a few Dalmatian ports.

Now Venice…became above all a carnival – ‘the Revel of the earth,’ as Byron put it, ‘the Masque of Italy.’ The pose became a reality; the façade, the state. In the overblown flower of her eighteenth-century decadence, stripped of her consequence and her possessions, Venice was the most dissolute, most carefree, in many ways the most charming, place in the world…It may have been pathetic, but it was fun, and it still had style.