News from Scrutopia - 3 July 2020
Read the latest from Scrutopia here - https://mailchi.mp/e08984d22224/4dxue1xf97-3745577
Douglas Murray discusses the importance of intellectual mentors and reveals two who continue to guide him.
A little while back I wrote something wildly unpopular and an acquaintance noted that I didn’t seem to mind. “Why would I?” I asked, genuinely interested. We drilled down to what seemed to me a rather important truth, one that I suspect many, if not most, writers share. Which is that it bothers me less what millions of people think than does the judgment of a small group of people (probably no more than ten) whom I listen to and who would cause me to worry if they felt I had got something wrong.
Scrutopia Book Club
What to read:
‘Alberti and the Art of the Appropriate’ from The Classical Vernacular – Architectural Principles in an Age of Nihilism
Piazza Pio II, Pienza, where a palace and town square was built for Pope Pius II and Alberti is believed to have been the consultant. Image Credit: By Oschirmer - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28402614
The chapter is ten pages long and originally appeared as an article in the Times Literary Supplement (1977). It was written at the time when Roger was making his name as a specialist in aesthetics. The book can be purchased directly from us online via the bookshop, or email me to receive the individual chapter.
On the day:
First and foremost, please note you will need to ensure you are joining in the correct time zone! We will be meeting at 2pm GMT. Here is an example table for other parts of the world:
At the end of the session, we will propose the next read and book club date. We hope in the following session to open the invitation to suggest the next book in Roger’s vast collection!
Shortly before his death in January this year, the philosopher Sir Roger Scruton had completed an opera libretto, called An Angel Passes. It is now being set to music by the distinguished composer David Matthews, who has commented on its excellence as an operatic vehicle, perhaps in part because Scruton was himself the composer of two operas. To my mind, even as a bare libretto, An Angel Passes encapsulates some of Scruton’s most profound and revelatory thinking, nowhere more so than in the enigmatic words of our title.
When Roger Scruton was decorated by Victor Orbán at the Hungarian Embassy last December, most of those present knew that this might be the last time we would see him in this world. Scruton himself knew that he was losing his battle with cancer. Yet he was still hopeful that he would enjoy some remission.
He gave a gracious acceptance speech, and afterwards had cheerful words of comfort for the close friends gathered there to honour him. The pictures taken at that last public appearance, however, tell their own story. Roger (pictured above) already has the look of a man who knows he is dying. It isn’t always easy to be philosophical about death, even for a philosopher.
A month later he was dead. His funeral at Malmesbury Abbey was a great gathering of generations of family, friends, disciples and admirers. It was an Anglican service, of course, with all the liturgical splendour of the Book of Common Prayer in an ancient church consecrated soon after Christianity took root in Saxon England. But was Roger himself in any sense a Christian?
Roger Scruton: A brief personal history of a great man by James Bryson http://northamanglican.com/roger-scruton-my-encounter-with-a-great-man/
James Bryson is a Humboldt Fellow in the Catholic Theology Faculty at the Ludwig Maximilian's University in Munich where is writing a history of love in the tradition of Christian Platonism. Previously Dr. Bryson has held positions at McGill and Cambridge. He is the author of The Christian Platonism of Thomas Jackson (Peeters, 2016) and editor of The Religious Philosophy of Roger Scruton (Bloomsbury, 2016).
Sir Roger Scruton, in memoriam: A Platonic Tribute by Ewa Atanassow https://blog.berlin.bard.edu/sir-roger-scruton-in-memoriam-a-platonic-tribute/
Ewa Atanassow joined The Bard College, Berlin as a full time faculty in 2008. She teaches in the Core and the Ethics and Politics programs.
An Obituary of Sir Roger Scruton by Samuel Hughes https://arbeitaneuropa.com/2020/01/22/obituary-of-sir-roger-scruton/
Samuel Hughes is a philosopher working primarily in aesthetics. He is about to begin a Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford. He was educated at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and has spent time as a visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and the University of Notre Dame. During the last year, he was Roger Scruton’s Research Assistant on the British Government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, which investigated how we can raise standards of architecture and urban form in new housing.
Ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy our virtual launch video, recorded in celebration of the launch of Roger's book Wagner's Parsifal: The Music of Redemption.
Published by Allen Lane/ Penguin on Thursday 7th May, we we joined by friends, family, philosophical and musical colleagues for this most wonderful event.
To order a copy of Wagner's Parsifal, please visit our Bookshop.
In his weaving of philosophy and musicology into an explication of redemption via the vehicle of compassion, this is an unparalleled, sadly posthumously published offering. It is at once required reading and a launch pad for an infinitude of musings. It is also, it should be clearly stated, magisterial.
Colin Clarke, Opera Now
This is Roger Scruton's final book. Parsifal was Wagner's final opera. Both works are intended to be taken as Last Words: testaments of belief at the end of a long spiritual journey... you [will] find enormous satisfaction in following the journey of one of our great philosophers making sense of his own life though another's sublime work of art.
Sue Prideaux, Spectator
Scruton is one of the finest philosopher-musicians since Schopenhauer. After reading this book, only the most unadventurous reader would turn down the chance to see Wagner's masterpiece. - Read the full article HERE.
Jonathan Gaisman, Standpoint
Highly original and penetrating ... he writes about the music authoritatively but comprehensibly... lucidly, cogently and even entertainingly
Tim Blanning, Literary Review
A brilliant gallop through the master's religious, musical and philosophical contexts
Michael Tanner, Literary Review. Read the full article HERE.
Richard Morrison, The Times.
Wagner at grail-forceThe late Roger Scruton appraises Parsifal, an opera not for the faint-hearted. Read the full article HERE.
Douglas Murray discusses the importance of intellectual mentors and reveals two who continue to guide him. A little while back I wrote something wildly unpopular and an acquaintance noted that...
Bloomsbury (2009) Roger Scruton is one of the outstanding British philosophers of the post-war years. Why then is he at best ignored and at worst reviled? Part of the reason...
‘Wagner’s Parsifal – The Music of Redemption’ This short but penetrating book, by a writer who was uniquely both a leading philosopher and musicologist, shows us how Wagner achieves this...