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Monday, April 15, 2019

HORROR!

Notre Dame de Paris is burning.  This is unimaginably awful.

8 comments:

Carl said...

No, it's not.

Carl said...

Notre Dame was built at the exact same time the Church was launching military campaigns in the Middle East and committing untold atrocities. It's a beautiful, irreplaceable monument to fundamentalist cruelty. If they put as much effort into putting out this fire as the church put into stomping out child abuse among priests, it will never stop burning.

Michael Llenos said...

Perhaps this is a sign that Sanders will be overtaken by Buttigieg? Whether bad or good who knows? Though it is important...

'Alexander was born the sixth of Hecatombaeon, which month the Macedonians call Lous, the same day that the temple of Diana at Ephesus was burnt; which Hegesias of Magnesia makes the occasion of a conceit, frigid enough to have stopped the conflagration. The temple, he says, took fire and was burnt while its mistress was absent, assisting at the birth of Alexander. And all the Eastern soothsayers who happened to be then at Ephesus, looking upon the ruin of this temple to be the forerunner of some other calamity, ran about the town, beating their faces, and crying that this day had brought forth something that would prove fatal and destructive to all Asia.'

howard b said...

Dear Carl- the church oppressed millions of people, yet resulted in great art, which I can't really claim to appreciate.
I am Jewish and the Hebrew Bible is a great piece of literature, which my people have used as justification for conquering another people.
It is ironic, but the authors of the Hebrew Bible were profound and brilliant.
Can we ever have a morally pure aesthetic experience?
I'm not the one to answer that question. Maybe you have an answer.
Abraham in Genesis bargained with God, who might be the ultimate offender, of sparing Sodom and Gamurrah.
Your pain is real, Carl, but so is the pain of the people who love that Cathedral.
That cathedral carries the breath of life for them.
I think we should respect that

Jerry Brown said...

Yes. It is terrible and sad. Just to think of the millions of hours of work that went into building that- let alone the historic and cultural importance of the cathedral. Doesn't matter what you might think of the Catholic Church or its history- it was a beautiful structure and probably one of the technological achievements of its time. I hope they can save parts of it and try to restore it. It is a very sad day for a carpenter like me.

Dean said...

It is both unimaginable and awful. We are fortunate that there is no human loss, that this is apparently an ordinary fire, not a terrorist strike or some other criminal endeavor, but still, it's a massive loss to humanity. A formative book in my college career was Hans Jantzen's High Gothic, about the construction of these marvelous (and unique) works. What we lose can't be replaced.

pranogajec said...

All monumental architecture is more or less implicated in moral and political wrongs. It could hardly be otherwise. Such works cost money and are built by the powerful to express their ideologies. ALL monumental buildings share that fact.

But...

No great work of art is ever a single-minded expression of an ideology, or contained by the one it supposedly is meant to serve. Architecture, especially, also has complex communal purposes--and psychological ones for the people who live near them and for which the building has become part of the fabric of life. And when great buildings lasts over a long period time, they accrue so, so much more meaning.

What Whitman said of himself also applies to great works of art: They are large, they contain multitudes.

David Palmeter said...

David Leonhardt has said it well:

"We crossed one of the bridges leading to Île de la Cité, the island where the cathedral sits, and I remember looking up and thinking it was the oldest thing I had ever seen.

"The cathedral connects humankind across the centuries. It also connects families, including those, like mine, who will never worship inside of it.

"When my grandfather was a young man living in Paris in the 1930s, he walked past it. When my dad was a student there in the 1960s, he lived near it. He took me to see it that day in 1984, as my first experience in a culture other than my own. A couple of years ago, I took my children to gaze up at its towers and its spire.

"Like so many others, I feel an almost physical sadness over the destruction of that spire. And I share the instinct of so many others, as well: Notre-Dame must rise again.