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    The Future of the Classical (Paperback) By (author) Salvatore Settis, By (author) Allan Cameron

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    DescriptionEvery era has invented a different idea of the 'classical' to create its own identity. Thus the 'classical' 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 'classical' 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 'classical' 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 'classical' has changed over the centuries through an unrelenting decay of 'classicism' and its equally unrelenting rebirth in an altered form. In the Modern Era this emulation of the 'ancients' by the 'moderns' 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 'classical' 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 'other'.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Future of the Classical

    Title
    The Future of the Classical
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Salvatore Settis, By (author) Allan Cameron
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 104
    Width: 139 mm
    Height: 214 mm
    Thickness: 8 mm
    Weight: 190 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780745635996
    ISBN 10: 0745635997
    Classifications

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 25590
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T3.7
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: LIT
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 03
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 05
    Libri: I-HP
    BIC subject category V2: DSBB
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    DC22: 809, 909.08
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T General Subject: 610
    B&T Merchandise Category: POD
    BISAC V2.8: PHI009000, HIS037030
    LC subject heading: , , ,
    LC classification: PA76 .S4513 2006
    Thema V1.0: DSBB
    Edition
    1
    Illustrations note
    Publisher
    Polity Press
    Imprint name
    Polity Press
    Publication date
    01 October 2006
    Publication City/Country
    Oxford
    Author Information
    S. Settis, Director, Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa
    Review quote
    "Ably rendered into accessible English and intended for a broad readership both within classical studies and outside the field. It is an excellent, thought-provoking essay." James Porter, Journal of Roman Studies "A thought-provoking and very readable book, especially in light of the recent debate regarding the future of the Ancient History A-Level." Anastasia Bakogianni, Journal of Classics Teaching "This is a terrific book - the fundamental statement we have long been hoping for, that confronts the European Classical heritage with the full complexity of its resonance in the age of globalization and postmodernity. It is brief, punchy and bright - very learned, but wearing its learning lightly, engaged, committed, always enthusiastic. Settis writes as a great authority immersed in the living Classical tradition, yet very sensitive to its swathe of receptions (art historical, architectural, poetic and historiographic, as well as literary). He leads us through a dazzling and hugely stimulating confrontation with the deep pasts and the futures of the Western tradition." John Elsner, University of Oxford "Salvatore Settis seeks a contemporary answer to Arnaldo Momigliano's question: why study ancient history? In this dynamic and urgent series of chapters, Settis considers the classical in a global setting. European culture is seen to be demarcated by its rhythmic returns to classical civilization as an "elsewhere" of both time and space. Settis places classicism under scrutiny as a cultural project, rather than revering it as an icon, and argues that, through the classical, myth is absorbed into history. The deep tradition of cycles of death and rebirth unique to European history offers rich opportunities for viewing the past as alien, and therefore capable of providing a wider understanding of "otherness." This provocative text takes nothing for granted." Elizabeth Cropper, National Gallery of Art
    Back cover copy
    Every era has invented a different idea of the 'classical' to create its own identity. Thus the 'classical' 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 'classical' 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 'classical' 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 'classical' has changed over the centuries through an unrelenting decay of 'classicism' and its equally unrelenting rebirth in an altered form. In the Modern Era this emulation of the 'ancients' by the 'moderns' 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 'classical' 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 'other'.
    Table of contents
    1. The 'classical' in the 'Global' Universe. 2. Ancient History as Universal History. 3. 'Classicism' and the 'classical': Retracing our Steps. 4. The 'Classical' as the Dividing Line Between Post-modern and Modern. 5. The 'Classical' amongst the 'Historical' Styles and the Victory of the Doric. 6. The 'Classical' is not 'Authentic'. 7. Greek 'Classical' versus Roman 'Classical'. 8. The 'Classical', Liberty and Revolution. 9. The 'Classical' as a Repertoire. 10. The Rebirth of Antiquity. 11. The 'Classical' before 'Classical Antiquity'. 12. The 'Classicism' of the 'Classical' Period. 13. Eternity Amongst the Ruins. 14. Identity and Otherness. 15. Cyclical Histories. 16. The Future of the 'Classical'. Note on the Text. Bibliography. Index.