Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Art of the day

Le Violin d'Ingres (1924) - Man Ray

This photo also serves as the cover to Life, Sex, and Ideas: The Good Life Without God by A.C. Grayling (a modern day Montaigne, in my opinion.) If I recall correctly, this photograph falls into the realm of surrealism (and I'm fairly certain I've seen it included in some surrealist collections.) I find it striking in how at first glance without looking at the title one might fail to notice how much the girl actually does look like a violin. The musical notes are also interesting, to me, in that back in '24 this would be considered surreal, but by today's standards those musical marks would be quite in style as a tatoo. I suppose one could also say something about the implied musical harmony of the female form and what not.


steeplebob said...

After perusing Grayling's writings linked to in the comments of Sunday's post I can understand why Amazon.com describes his "erudite prose", but personally I found them a little less than accessible, certainly at nine in the moring. I wonder if this book is any more on my level.

While this blog has piqued my interest in reading and educating myself on Enlightenment and Humanist ideas, I feel as though I'm just a page or two into a huge volume.


Hume's Ghost said...

The essays in the book are similar to the ones that can be found at his personal website (the articles and last word, ones, that is - not the academic paper section.)

I showed a Bertrand Russell essay to one of my friends and he said it was like reading Greek or something...

A few years ago I used to hate philosophy, then after reading enough philosophers and what not that I found accesible you kind of hit a tipping point where the prose begins to make a lot more sense.

Then after a while it becomes a breath of fresh air in comparison for what passes for discourse on the air waves.

I found reading The History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell goes along ways toward making philosophy a lot more accesible.

But that's still on the level of Grayling. Now that I think about it, it was The Paradox of God and the Science Omniscience by Clifford Pickover that really got me interested in reading more philosophy. I'd recommend that over the Grayling.

Hume's Ghost said...

I might also add, if you're looking for something from Grayling that covers Enlightenment and humanist ideas, his best book in that regard would be What is Good: The Search for the Best Way to Live.

That one is designed to take the reader on a tour of western ethics, with Grayling being partisan for a humanist ethic.