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March 10, 2006

Comments

eva

Indeed, why not just leave it at the imagination? What is wrong with having one, I say, and finding as many possible ways to use it/ strain it/ give it exercise?

The study of history is incredibly stimulating - if you've got an imagination. And a nice reminder that the world is not centered all around you.

JL

Indeed, why not just leave it at the imagination? What is wrong with having one, I say, and finding as many possible ways to use it/ strain it/ give it exercise?

I'm all for the imagination, but what I think distinguishes the exercise of it in history (and some other areas) is the fact that one is talking about not just free mental roaming, but a subject that deals with other people, in this case often dead, even long dead. So there's a responsibility involved, one that we would want extended to us when gone as well. I guess my interest isn't only in imagination, but judgement, too.

Franklin

They're dead, and they're not dead. I've been to Ravenna twice and it keeps hitting me how Picassoid those heads are. We have history, and at the same time it's all happening right now.

I love Ravenna. The mosaics, the gelato, snappily dressed Italians going a giro at dusk. Christ depicted everywhere not in agony on the cross, but as Apollo seated enthroned on the universe, envisioned as a big blue ball. Heaven couldn't be any nicer. Blogtrip, anyone?

JL

I've been to Ravenna twice

I'm very jealous. I've never been. The mosaics there are some of my favorite works ever, especially the mausoleum of Galla Placidia.

I don't disagree with your larger point, though as you say, that's moving out of a historical concern and into a more purely artistic one. Nothing wrong with that - in fact, I'm sure you'll be delighted to know that it's a point frequently made by . . . 20th century French philosophers. Lascaux as contemporary art.

Franklin

Well, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. ;o)

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