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9780745635989

The Future of the Classical

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780745635989

  • ISBN10:

    0745635989

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-10-20
  • Publisher: Polity

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Summary

Every era has invented a different idea of the ls"classicalrs" to create its own identity. Thus the ls"classicalrs" does not concern only the past: it is also concerned with the present and a vision of the future. In this elegant new book, Salvatore Settis traces the ways in which we have related to our ls"classicalrs" past, starting with post-modern American skyscrapers and working his way back through our cultural history to the attitudes of the Greeks and Romans themselves. Settis argues that this obsession with cultural decay, ruins and a ls"classicalrs" past is specifically European and the product of a collective cultural trauma following the collapse of the Roman Empire. This situation differed from that of the Aztec and Inca empires whose collapse was more sudden and more complete, and from the Chinese Empire which always enjoyed a high degree of continuity. He demonstrates how the idea of the ls"classicalrs" has changed over the centuries through an unrelenting decay of ls"classicismrs" and its equally unrelenting rebirth in an altered form. In the Modern Era this emulation of the ls"ancientsrs" by the ls"modernsrs" was accompanied by new trends: the increasing belief that the former had now been surpassed by the latter, and an increasing preference for the Greek over the Roman. These conflicting interpretations were as much about the future as they were about the past. No civilization can invent itself if it does not have other societies in other times and other places to act as benchmarks. Settis argues that we will be better equipped to mould new generations for the future once we understand that the ls"classicalrs" is not a dead culture we inherited and for which we can take no credit, but something startling that has to be re-created every day and is a powerful spur to understanding the ls"otherrs".

Author Biography

S. Settis, Director, Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa

Table of Contents

The `Classical' in the `Global' Universe
1(8)
Ancient History as Universal History
9(6)
`Classicism' and the `Classical': Retracing our Steps
15(4)
The `Classical' as the Dividing Line between Post-modern and Modern
19(3)
The `Classical' amongst the `Historical' Styles and the Victory of the Doric
22(6)
The `Classical' is not `Authentic'
28(6)
Greek `Classical' versus Roman `Classical'
34(6)
The `Classical', Liberty and Revolution
40(5)
The `Classical' as a Repertoire
45(4)
The Rebirth of Antiquity
49(7)
The `Classical' before `Classical Antiquity'
56(11)
The `Classicism' of the `Classical' Period
67(7)
Eternity amongst the Ruins
74(8)
Identity and Otherness
82(9)
Cyclical Histories
91(9)
The Future of the `Classical'
100(12)
Note on the Text 112(2)
Bibliography 114(15)
Index 129

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