torsdag 13 juni 2013

Åter till David Hamiltons bok Culture Wars - en presenterande text på engelska

För en tid sedan recenserade jag här i bloggen David Hamiltons bok Culture Wars. På grund av att några felaktiga rykten spreds här i bloggen - med min medverkan därför att jag inte förstod bättre - har jag därför lovat att som ursäkt publicera denna informationstext om boken. Jag publicerar den i engelsk originalversion, skriven av Hamiltons agent Dawn Morris.

The book on "Culture Wars" grew out of the destruction of our civilisation from within and the need to combat it. The definition of art had become so vague that it was used to mean whatever anyone said it was so David redefined it in his essays on art and gave it substance in that it is form expressing meaning: this is explained in the examples of how the raw talent of The Beatles was expressed through the classical technical training their record producer George Martin had had. These are the two types of knowledge as philosopher Michael Oakeshott described it.  The technique which is taught and the talent which is natural. 

He described the use of technique through an example of when a photographer uses the zoom lens it moves from recording natural phenomena to making art. He also uses the example of British wonder artist, Kieron Williamson, who is 9 years-old. When contemporary artists promote and celebrate not only paedophilia but publicly praise the murder of young children, then we have very evil people destroying our culture from within.

In architecture he writes that traditional or historic buildings help create community and re-affirm the identities of people but new buildings which are universal, or global, make people feel out of place because they disjoint the local ambiance. They are put in areas they have no relation to and disrupt them when new buildings should follow on from the tradition.  The tradition is found by looking back through history. The new colossal buildings are related to buildings in other countries and are exciting in themselves but do not fit in to local areas and cause disruption. This negativity, this attempt to destroy a culture and art rather than improve it is quite simply evil. His use of Wheel of Fortune,as a symbol the cyclical view of history and suggests that we can get back on the up part of the Wheel if we can start producing sacred and holy art and an architecture that derives from what went before not incongruous eruptions that disjuncture cultures and communities. An architecture that makes people feel as if they belong and not pushed out of their communities by such as ugly and drab buildings.

The two essays on drama are more specific to Britain but still have a general sense because the "Cultural Marxist" drama of such as Howard Brenton, David Hare et al is performed in other countries and the essay on "Elizabethan Tragedy" shows how in the early period of growth this drama while gory was actually positive in that it represented a move from barbarism to civilisation; contemporary drama represents a move back to barbarism. He gives examples of the two types of Elizabethan tragedy; Revenge, the most famous being Hamlet, and Overreachers, the most famous being MacBeth. Revengers set out to avenge murdered relatives, Overreachers bring themselves down by an overweening ambition.  Marlowe's Doctor Faustus and Tambburlaine began the genre, while Thomas Kyd's Spanish tragedy, influenced by the Roman philosopher, Seneca, made Revenge tragedy popular. An interesting one on the Environment and Animals gives examples of dangers to the environment and the appalling plans to build new cities in Britain to accommodate mass immigration, like one to link Birmingham and Coventry; the HS2 rail network which is from an EU Directive and will destroy farmland and villages. He describes the need to give animals greater legal protection against cruelty and abuse.

The title essay shows how the Anglican church in Britain has made it difficult for people to get involved in the church from outside.  The Bishops have gone from Marxism to closing the church to the population.  The final essay deals with the importance of churches and cathedrals as places of meaning, history and legend much which is contained in symbols and artifacts which people no longer understand and it is culturally important to re-learn them.

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