Henry Adams Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres

ISBN 13: 9780399124983

Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres

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9780399124983: Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres

Excerpt: ... us in our infancy too quickly takes colours that are not so much sober as sordid, and would be welcome if no worse than that. Vulgarity, too, has feeling, and its expression in art has truth and even pathos, but we shall have time enough in our lives for that, and all the more because, when we rise from our knees now, we have finished our pilgrimage. We have done with Chartres. For seven hundred years Chartres has seen pilgrims, coming and going more or less like us, and will perhaps see them for another seven hundred years; but we shall see it no more, and can safely leave the Virgin in her majesty, with her three great prophets on either hand, as calm and confident in their own strength and in God's providence as they were when Saint Louis was born, but looking down from a deserted heaven, into an empty church, on a dead faith. CHAPTER XI THE THREE QUEENS After worshipping at the shrines of Saint Michael on his Mount and of the Virgin at Chartres, one may wander far and wide over France, and seldom feel lost; all later Gothic art comes naturally, and no new thought disturbs the perfected form. Yet tourists of English blood and American training are seldom or never quite at home there. Commonly they feel it only as a stage-decoration. The twelfth and thirteenth centuries, studied in the pure light of political economy, are insane. The scientific mind is atrophied, and suffers under inherited cerebral weakness, when it comes in contact with the eternal woman-Astarte, Isis, Demeter, Aphrodite, and the last and greatest deity of all, the Virgin. Very rarely one lingers, with a mild sympathy, such as suits the patient student of human error, willing to be interested in what he cannot understand. Still more rarely, owing to some revival of archaic instincts, he rediscovers the woman. This is perhaps the mark of the artist alone, and his solitary privilege. The rest of us cannot feel; we can only study. The proper study of mankind is woman and, by...

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From the Inside Flap:

"Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres is undoubtedly Adams's greatest work; though not apparently related to his earlier writings, this inspired work of poetry is the crowning achievement of his severe and somber historical oeuvre."--Maurice le Breton

"Emerson discussed man's need to discover a system of unity for his age; Henry Adams did the same for an age when the conflict was infinitely more acute and the solution less apparently obvious."--Robert Spiller

"One has the feeling that during the process of writing, the book grew way beyond its original plan and intention to be the informal travel talk of an art tourist, or an art-uncle for nieces with Kodaks. At a certain point it almost ceases to deal with esthetic experiences and becomes a confession of a seeker after unity, of a pilgrim who hopes to find in the Middle Ages an emotional repose-peace-Nirvana."--Ernst Scheyer, The Circle of Henry Adams

About the Author:

Henry Adams

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Henry Adams
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Book Description G. P. Putnam's Sons, U.S.A., 1980. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good +. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. Book is in very good + condition. Dust jacket is in near fine condition. Price clipped, in mylar. Bookseller Inventory # 010656

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