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Tony Grist

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On Finishing Simon Schama's Citizens [Jul. 5th, 2010|06:07 pm]
Tony Grist
On Finishing Simon Schama's Citizens

So the revolution achieved nothing?
No, Simon, emphatically no!
It achieved itself. 
It was theatre. It was performance art-
Red caps, rhetoric, the sound of clogs on cobbles-
And it inserted into the timeline a number of remarkable years when things did not run as usual-
When the likes of Talleyrand (amiable man that he was) did not entirely prosper.
It bequeathed us one very good song, one very good painting
And the aspiration (of a green-eyed promenader on Les Champs Elysees)
That the state might be virtuous.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: steepholm
2010-07-05 05:58 pm (UTC)
This reminds me of a fantasy I had in which the Roman Empire was run as a kind of Arts Council, and would-be invading generals had to apply for grants, justifying their invasions in aesthetic terms. ("The Britannia installation will be so striking! I'm thinking blood on woad as a colour scheme.")
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-05 07:11 pm (UTC)
What a delightful idea.

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[User Picture]From: sovay
2010-07-05 07:00 pm (UTC)
It bequeathed us one very good song, one very good painting
And the aspiration of a green-eyed promenader on Les Champs Elysees
That the state might be virtuous.


I like that.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-05 07:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
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