08 February 2008

Arts and Architecture

My first issue of The Intercollegiate Review arrived today. The quote on the back was an excerpt from Russel Kirk's essay "The Architecture of Servitude and Boredom".

Let us leave historical determinism to the Marxists and other ideologues. The courses of nations depend upon the energy and the talents of particular individuals--and upon Providence, always inscrutable. It remains true even in this mass age of ours that individual genius and courage--or at least, the imagination and boldnesss of a handful of men and women--may leaven the lump of dullness and apathy, all across the land. From causes which at present no one guesses, conceivably there may come about a reinvigoration of urban planning and architecture.... The architectural and artistic charlatan, leagued with the spoilsman and the bureaucrat, may be thrust aside, abruptly, by a new breed of architects and artists endowed with the moral imagination. Given faith and hope, it is yet imaginable that we may draw upon the architectural well of the past to bring into being an architecture strong and humane.
And, not from the Review, but quoted in the Gileskirk lecture we discussed today, from the quill of John Adams:

In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.


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