I Goat, U Goat | by Esperanza Gomez-Carrera
Consider the herds that are feeding yonder: they know not the meaning of yesterday or today; they graze and ruminate, move or rest, from morning to night, from day to day, taken up with their little loves and hates and the mercy of the moment, feeling neither melancholy nor satiety. (p5)
... we must know the right time to forget as well as the right time to remember, and instinctively see when it is necessary to feel historically and when unhistorically. This is the point that the reader is asked to consider: that the unhistorical and the historical are equally necessary to the health of an individual, a community, and a system of culture. (p8)
History is necessary to the living man in three ways: in relation to his action and struggle, his conservatism and reverence, his suffering and his desire for deliverance. These three relations answer to the three kinds of history - so far as they can be distinguished - the monumental, the antiquarian, and the critical. (p12)
What is the use to the modern man of this 'monumental' contemplation of the past, this preoccupation with the rare and classic? It is the knowledge that the great thing existed and was therefore possible, and so may be possible again..... And yet if we really wish to learn something from an example, how vague and elusive do we find the comparison! If it is to give us strength, many of the differences must be neglected, the individuality of the past forced into a general formula and all the sharp angles broken off for the sake of correspondence. (p14)
During WWII, South Hill Park was the evacuation home of the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital from Margate. Patients, including very many children, were suffering from surgical tuberculosis. Treatment involved being outdoors day and night, those with a diseased spine restricted to a plaster bed, or those with infected joints with splinted limbs. Pre-antibiotic treatments, at that time if the disease abated the best possible outcome was an immobile back or limb - forever seized up into the least worst position.
Commemorating this time in South Hill Park's history, the outdoor installation of 'beds' and pillows also celebrates that children in this country are largely now free of this disease. Children are free to play with 'loose parts' both in the sense of their limbs, and in the free-play sense of Simon Nicolson's 'Theory of Loose Parts'.
... the phenomenon of 'endism'. This is a catchy name for a wide range of positions and thinkers whose common element is that they are announcing 'the end' of something or other - history, humanism, ideology, modernity, philosophy, Marxism, the author, 'man' and the world being amongst the most popular candidates of late. (p12)
History, to Baudrillard, is the SOURCE of humankind's problems rather than merely the SITE of them, and in the most cavalier of fashions he calls for history's abolition: 'It is precisely in history that we are alienated, and if we leave history we also leave alienation (not without nostalgia, it must be said, for that good old drama of subject and object)'. The solution to political conflict, it would appear, is to become resolutely apolitical; but as Baudrillard's critics have been quick to point out, in practice this amounts to an acceptance of the political status quo. Opting out of political action (which Baudrillard strongly recommends as a mode of existence in several of his later works), at the very least, his critics also observe, makes life considerably easier for those controlling the status quo. Adopting the Baudrillard line would result in much less active opposition to the political establishment's plans, after all. To abolish history is at the same time to abolish the possibility of political change, and Baudrillard is in this respect every bit as guilty as Fukuyama of possessing a disguised ideological agenda. (p24-25)
Four Corners Books - www.fourcornersbooks.co.uk
The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope, illustrated by Mireille Fauchon (edition 2011)
Some Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, illustrated by Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (2014)
Visual & ideas
Jane is less fluid and more organised at: www.janeglennie.co.uk