Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Civilisation 1: The Skin of Our Teeth: 5

Charlemagne ruled "an empire stretching from Denmark to the Adriatic" and "amassed treasure from all over the known world" (Clark, 1969, p. 23).  "In the end", however, "it was the books that mattered- not only the texts but the illustrations and the bindings" (Clark, K., 1969 p. 23). Knowledge is power. 

Despite some of my reservations about the series and the book, its conservatism and sometimes dubious claims, it does show a great deal of insight into our European artistic and cultural past. It is quite enlightening. It is intelligent and sometimes witty. It is also important to remember that Clark's anxiety about the fragility of (Western) civilisation is not limited to cultural conservatives. 


Clark, K (1969) Civilisation: A personal view, London: BBC/J. Murray

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