Like or dislike Clark, concur with or approve of, or not, his aesthetic evaluations; but fairness and accuracy require that one see and hear and read, and recognize, a moralist at work. The artwork Civilisation, films and book, is the master example of a new genre possible only in the era of high-technological audiovisual expertise. The work also offsets or mitigates the extreme and extravagant aesthetic tendencies of today, which are no longer hierarchical, backward-looking, or class-based but now vulgarly demotic, obscene, pornographic, or ironic: a very low culture for which ridiculously high claims are made, and whose noisy, nonstop regimen is constant and nearly inescapable.
Sunday, December 01, 2019
… Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation: Still Brilliant After a Half Century | National Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)