Category Archives: education

Thoreau

Podcast Thoreau and the American Idyll

In Our Time Podcast BBC

Melvyn Bragg; Kathleen Burk, Professor of American History at University College London; Tim Morris, Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Dundee; Stephen Fender, Honorary Professor in English Literature at University College London.

Unitarianism

Jesus inspired by God but not divine.

Transcendentalism

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson-intuitive nature of the divine.

Romanticism:

-Walt Whitman
-Emily Dickinson

Dark Romanticism:

Herman Melville
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Edgar Allan Poe 

“The Dark romantic authors represented a response to the optimism of the ideology of Transcendentalism.” from “Dark Romanticism.” Dark Romanticism – New World Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.

Quaker’s Inward light, follow your own conscience.

Mexican-American War (1846-1848)

Socrates: The examined life is not worth living.

William Paley‘s Of the Duty of Civil Obedience

Roger Williams founder of Rhode Island and advocate of religious freedom (separation of church and state).

ca. 1560-1600 ---  by Santi di Tito --- Image by © Archivo Iconografico, S.A./CORBIS

Machiavelli’s The Prince

Podcast: Machiavelli: Nigel Warburton and Prof. Quentin Skinner

Machiavelli’s The Prince

The Prince as a centaur:

“He says that the ancients understood state craft better, when they figured The Prince as a centaur. The centaur is half man and half beast, and that’s what it is to understand state craft. Manly virtue will never be enough, you’ve got to be ready for beastliness, and the centaur is half beast. Now, that is presented directly as a satire of Cicero.”- Prof. Skinner

Cicero: the fox and the lion

“Cicero had said, ‘Force is beastly and is to be avoided, that is simply the lion. Fraud is beastly and that is to be avoided, that is simply the fox’. And Machiavelli says, ‘Since you need to know how to be beastly, you had better know which particular beasts to imitate, and then in the most famous phrase in the book he says, ‘Those who have done best as princes in our time have known how to imitate the lion and the fox’.” – Prof. Skinner

‘You’re going to have to cheat, you must do your best to appear not to be cheating’, and that again is satirical in respect of Cicero’s De Officiis, because one of the things which Cicero keeps telling us is, ‘Fraud will always be found out. So you cannot gain true glory by pretence’, I’m now quoting Cicero, ‘because your pretences will always find you out’ And that becomes a biblical thought too. ‘Be sure your sins will find you out’. Now, one of the most important things that Machiavelli wants to tell The Prince is not to worry about that, because it’s not true. And he’s very keen on the fact that The Prince is not performing his politics in republican conditions. In republican conditions, you’re out in the piazza, everyone has a vote, it’s all public. People are watching you. You’ve only been elected, their turn will come, it’s a communal activity, everything is in the bright light of day. It’s not so for The Prince.” – Prof. Skinner

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From Chapters 15-24 “‘Be courageously evil where it’s necessary to be evil, but otherwise follow what people regard as the virtues as much as possible. Because if you don’t, they’ll hate you, and if they hate you, you’re in trouble’. -Prof. Skinner

Illustration of Othello and Iago. Charles and Mary Lamb, Tales from Shakespeare (Philadelphia: Henry Altemus Company, 1901). Via Wikimedia.

See Shakespeare’s Iago

The Prince as a critique of Seneca‘s ‘De Clementia’, ‘De Beneficiis’ ‘concerning benefits’, and Cicero’s De Officiis, Concerning One’s Offices.

La muerte de Séneca. 1871. Manuel Domínguez Sánchez. Museo de Prado, Madrid. El título completo dado por el pintor fue: Séneca, después de abrirse las venas, se mete en un baño y sus amigos, poseídos de dolor, juran odio a Nerón que decretó la muerte de su maestro. Via Wikimedia.

La fortuna

Essarai non buono

“Machiavelli does himself say at one point in Chapter 15 – this pivotal and notorious chapter where he introduces the virtuoso prince who is not always virtuous. He says ‘I’m teaching you that sometimes you must learn, how not to be good’, and it’s interesting he doesn’t say there, virtuoso, he says buono, a good person. ‘Essarai non buono’ – how not to be a good person.”” – Prof. Skinner

Salus populi suprema lex esto (The health of the people should be the supreme law) from Cicero’s De Legibus.

Machiavellian morality vs. Christian morality and classical morality.

“If you’re a prince, you need to go against conventional Christian or classical morality, if you’re an ordinary person, perhaps, you may want to carry on according to Christian or classical morality.” -Prof. Skinner

Read:

Isaiah Berlin’s essay The Originality of Machiavelli

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Nobel Laureates 1999-1995

Günter Grass 1999

Germany (novel, drama, graphic design) Nazi Germany

Work:  The Tin Drum, Cat and MouseDog Years (Danzig Trilogy

José Saramago 1998

Portugal (novel)

Work:  Memorial do Convento (Baltasar and Blimunda), O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo (The Gospel According to Jesus Christ), Ensaio sobre a cegueira (Blindness), História do Cerco de Lisboa (The History of the Siege of Lisbon)   

Dario Fo 1997

Italy (drama)

Work: Guerra di popolo in Cile, Non Si Paga! Non Si Paga! (Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!, Il Papa e la strega (The Pope and the Witch)

Wisława Szymborska 1996

Poland (poetry)

Work: Love At First Sight poem (Watch Three Colors: Red), Here, View With a Grain of Salt: Selected Poems

Seamus Heaney 1995

UK/Ireland (poetry)

Work: Beowulf 1999 translationDeath of a NaturalistThe Spirit Level

NOBEL LAUREATES 2004-2000

Elfriede Jelinek 2004

Germany (drama/novel)

Die Klavierspielerin (The Piano Teacher), Die Kinder der Toten (The Children of the Dead)Greed, Lust

J. M. Coetzee 2003

South Africa (novel/essay)

Work: Boyhood, Life & Times of Michael KWaiting for the Barbarians 

Imre Kertész 2002

Hungary (novel)

Work: FatelessnessKaddish for an Unborn Child

Sir V. S. Naipaul 2001

Trinidad and Tobago/UK (novel)

Work: The Loss of El DoradoThe Enigma of ArrivalGuerrillas  

高行健 Gao Xingjian 2000

China/France (novel/screenwriter)

Work: 給我老爺買魚竿 Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather, 靈山 Soul Mountain一個人的聖經 One Man’s Bible

Nobel Laureates 2015-2010

Svetlana Alexievich 2015

Belarus (born in Ukraine SSR) (Soviet history/essay)

Work: Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War, Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster

Patrick Modiano 2014

France (novel)

Work: Lacombe, Lucien (1974) (screenplay), The Occupation Trilogy

Alice Munro 2013

Canada (short story)

Work: Dance of the Happy Shades, Who Do You Think You Are?, The Progress of Love 

管謨業 Mo Yan 2012

China (novel/short story)

Work: 红高粱家族 Red Sorghum, 丰乳肥臀  Big Breasts & Wide Hips, 酒国 The Republic of Wine:

Tomas Tranströmer 2011

Sweden (poetry/translation)

Work: Baltics, For the Living and the Dead, The Great Enigma

Mario Vargas Llosa 2010

Peru/Spain (essay/novel)

La ciudad y los perros, García Márquez: historia de un deicidio (essay)

Stanley Kubrick: Interviews, and BIFF Cinema Library

Found the Cinema Library at BIFF hill. shhhhh. no backpacks.

Stanley Kubrick Interviews by Gene D. Phillips.

“Kubrick is fiercely concerned with the accuracy of the small details that make up the background of his films, because he feels that helps the audience to believe what they see on screen.” viii

“Kubrick sometimes nursed ideas over long periods before he was able to bring them to fruition.” viii

“directing a film can be like trying to write War and Peace in a bumper car at an amusement park, when you finally get it right, there are not many joys in life that can equal that feeling.” p. xii

Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler

Clean Break by Lionel White

To Read at the library:

book of essays and interviews on Wes Anderson

World Cinema by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

John Ford

Planet Hong Kong by David Bordwell

Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford by Scott Eyman

The Passion of David Lynch

books on Stanley Kubrick

Interviews with Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Kubrick, Bertolucci, Michael Mann.

books on Kurosawa

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels screenplay

Mediated Sex: Pornography and Postmodern Culture.

Goodfellas script

books on Cinematography

Eyes Wide Shut screenplay

The Making of Blade Runner

Boogie Nights script

Dark City (book on film noir)

geometry-of-design-DSC_8572

Geometry of Design (II)

Elam, Kimberly. Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition. New York: Princeton Architectural, 2001. Print.

See Fibonacci number

Golden section square construction Method p. 24

square-construction

AB         AC
—-   =   —–
AC          CB

A C B
|——————-|———|

“The golden section rectangle is unique in that when subdivided its reciprocal is a smaller proportional rectangle.” p. 25

Golden Section Spiral construction. p. 25

620/377 = 1.61803 Golden Section. p. 29

Golden Section Triangle and Ellipse p. 30

Golden Section Proportion of the Star Pentagram p. 31

Root 2 Rectangle Construction (√2)  p. 34

Hambidge Fig. 10 showing construction of “root rectangles. 1920. from Dynamic symmetry: the Greek vase. Via Wikimedia.

Root 2 Rectangle Construction. Circle Method p. 35

DIN System of Paper Proportioning A1-A5

“Root 2 rectangles possess the special property of being endlessly subdivided by proportionally smaller rectangles. It is for this reason that the root 2 rectangle is the basis for the European DIN (Deutsche Industrie Normen), a system of paper sizes.” p. 36

Root 3 rectangle p. 38

Root 4 Rectangle p. 40.

Lacey Davis Caskey – Geometry of Greek Vases: Attic Vases in the Museum of Fine Arts Analysed According to the Principals of Proportion Discovered by Jay Hambidge. Via Wikimedia

See The Modulor by Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier: “the composition of of works of art is governed by by rules; these rules may be conscious methods, pointed and subtle, or they may be commonplace rules, tritely applied. They may also be implied by the creative instinct of the artist, a manifestation of an intuitive harmony,”  p. 43

See Jules Cheret and Star Pentagram proportions.

Hippodrome, Leona Dare, 1883. Via wikimedia.

See Belle Époque

See Bauhaus typeface.

See Oskar Schlemmer

1932 Schlemmer Treppenszene anagoria. Via Wikimedia.

See East Coast poster by Tom Purvis

Designed by Tom Purvis and believed to feature his son with a Meccano. Via Wikimedia.

Circles aligned in Wagon -Bar Poster by A.M. Cassandre, 1932.

А.М. Кассандр (1901 — 1968) Via Wikimedia.

See Constructivism

‘Proun Vrashchenia’ by El Lissitzky, 1919. Wikimedia.

See Die Neue Typographie (1928) by Jan Tschichold

Root 2 rectangles and circles in proportion p. 73

Type construction p. 74

See Max Bill

See Inge Druckrey

See Bruno Monguzzi

Le Corbusier (from Modulor, 1949):

“The regulating lines do not bring in any poetic or lyrical ideas; they do not inspire the theme of the work; they are not creative; they merely establish a balance.” p. 101.

“Biology, geometry, and art are taught as separate subjects. The content area of each that is congruent to the other is often neglected and the student is left to make the connections on their own. In addition, art and design are commonly viewed as intuitive endeavors and expressions of personal inspirations.” p. 101

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