Ep. 21 - Alexander Stoddart: Culture as Communion with the Dead

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In Part II of their discussion Stephen Blackwood and Alexander Stoddart speak about the transhistorical community of past, present, and future. Stoddart explicates his Schopenhauerian view of art as life-denying and thus paradoxically able to help us relinquish our own will to power. He contrasts this view with that of a shallow presentism, a self-absorbed modernist outlook that views the present as inherently superior to both past and future, cutting off its own vital resources and neglecting its fundamental obligations. Stoddart shows another way.

Artists, Art, and Writings Mentioned in this Episode: Homer; Palmyra; Br’er Rabbit and the Tar-Baby; Arthur Schopenhauer; Jean-Paul Sartre; Michel Foucault; Friedrich Nietzsche; Walter Scott; Richard Wagner; Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina; Charles Dickens; Walter Pater; Gian Lorenzo Bernini; Buddhas of Bamiyan; Trajan's Forum; The Colosseum; Bartolomeo Colleoni Monument; The Shard of London; Albert Speer’s Volkshalle ("People's Hall"); T. S. Eliot: “Four Quartets”; Gone with the Wind, House of Tara (Antebellum architecture); Richard James Wyatt; Lincoln Memorial; John Flaxman: Am I Not a Man; Thomas Banks profile of Thomas Muir of Huntershill (https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/artists/thomas-banks); Edgar Degas; Paul Cézanne; Pierre-Auguste Renoir; The Acropolis; Tyche; Statue of Tyche and Plutus in Istanbul; Statue of Liberty; Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro; Mount Rushmore

22 episodes