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16 JANUARY 2013

Call to Order: the subordination of the matter to the light of the form

"The French poet and filmmaker, Jean Cocteau, is usually given the credit for the title by which the neoclassical revival of the 1920′s and early 1930′s is known. Le Rappel a l'ordre or the Call to Order summoned the civilized world to its senses. These were the very organs, you will recall, that had been ripped away by a shell fragment in Dix's Skin Graft.

This 'call to order' actually had its roots in French wartime propaganda. The virtues of France's Latin–based civilization were ranged against the Teutonic brutalism of the Germans. Before the war, néoclassicisme had languished like a discarded stage prop. In 1918, with the 'Huns' surging for a second time toward the gates of Paris, Cocteau and others summoned the cultural icons of Greece and Rome to join the Allied ranks. That year, Cocteau published a book, Le Coq et l'Arlequin, which he revised and renamed in 1924 as Le Rappel a l'ordre. The message was the same, without the 'us versus them' jingoism of the war: civilization must look to its ancient past to regain its bearings and enhance its vitality.

Cocteau's thesis found an appreciative audience in many circles, including the United States. According to French writer Jacques Maritain, 'what makes the purity of the true classic is … a subordination of the matter to the light of the form.' The discipline and dedication of the artist would admit only the essential elements of art into the work being created, excluding anything that would 'debauch' the senses of the viewer."

(Ed Voves, 4 October 2010)

TAGS

1920s19241930s • ancient past • brutalismcall to orderchaos and classicism • civilized world • classical formcreative fundamentalism • cultural icons • debauch • enhance vitality • essential elements of artessentialismGermanGreek • Jacques Maritain • Jean Cocteaujingoism • light of the form • neoclassical • neoclassical revivalneoclassicism • neoclassicisme • nostalgiapurity • regain bearings • return to order • revival • Romanromanticism • senses of the viewer • Teutonic • Teutons • true classic • us versus them • wartime • wartime propaganda • World War I

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 NOVEMBER 2012

This Land Is Mine: the great Middle East tragicomedy

"I envisioned This Land Is Mine as the last scene of my potential–possible–maybe– feature film, Seder–Masochism, but it's the first (and so far only) scene I've animated. As the Bible says, 'So the last will be first, and the first will be last.'"

(Nina Paley)

Fig.1 Nina Paley (2012) "This Land Is Mine".

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TAGS

20122D animation • Alexander conquer • Alexander the Great • Ancient Egyptian • Ancient Greek • Angel of Death • animationapocalypseArab • Arab Caliph • Assyrian • Ayyubid dynasty • Babylonian • Babylonian Exile • belligerenceBibleBritish EmpireByzantine • Byzantine Empire • Caliph • Canaanite • Channukah • Children of Israel • conflictcontested state • Crusader • Crusadesdevil • Eastern and Western Empires • Egypt • Egyptian • Egyptian Mamluk • European Jew • freedom fighter • futility of warGreek • Greek-Macedonian • Grim Reaper • guerrilla warfareHamas • Hebrew Priest • Hezbollah • historyhistory of conflictideological intoleranceideologyIsraelIsraeli-Palestinian conflict • Israelite • JerusalemJesus ChristJewish settlersJudaism • Kingdom of Jerusalem • Maccabee • Macedonian • Mamluk of Egypt • mamluks • militarized resistance movementsmilitaryMuslimNina Paley • Old Testament • Ottoman Empire • Ottoman Turk • Ottoman Turkish • ownershipPalestinePalestinian • Palestinian Liberation Organization • Palestinian territoriespeace • PLO • Ptolemaic • Ptolemy • Ptolmaic • RomanRoman Empire • Second Temple • Seder Masochism • Seleucid • Seleucids • State of IsraelterritorialisationterritoryterroristterroristsThis Land Is MinetimelinetragicomicwarZionist

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 NOVEMBER 2005

Garden of Eden Underpining Modern Western Zoological and Botanic Gardens

"the zoological garden, like the botanical garden emerges from Assyrian hunting parks (c1350 BC) in fiction from the mythological topos of Paradise (pairidaeza) shared yet differently interpreted by both Islam and Christianity. Whilst there is evidence of collections of animals in Egyptian and Chinese gardens, it is the Garden of Eden, which underpins modern western zoological and botanic gardens. The first modern botanic garden is attributed to the Padua University (1543), although it can be traced to Aristotle's Lyceum. The inclusion of collections of animals in gardens for mere spectacle can be most illustriously ascribed to the Romans who developed aviaries and menageries but the seminal menagerie design was that of Le Vau for Louis 14th at Versailles in 1663."

(Richard Weller)

Fig.1. Jeremy @ picasaweb, 1 August 2008, 'Cassowary at Edinburgh Zoo', Scotland.

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TAGS

Assyrianaviary • botanic • cassowary • ChristiancollectionsEgypt • Garden of Eden • gardens • hunting parks • Islam • Lyceum • menagerieparadisePeoples Republic of ChinaPerthRomanspectaclezoozoologicalzoology
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