Saturday, May 14, 2022

Romanesque and Gothic

As with many of you, yes, I did have to learn it and traipse around cathedrals and all that and my parents asked me questions - in one ear and out the other.

My field was sports, esp. sailing and rugby, cricket ... getting outside and playing was foremost in the young Higham's mind, and yet I found myself dux a couple of times or a bright kid who swatted and so there were expectations, were there not? My parents were paying good money for all this.

To any true classical music lover or jazz lover or architecture or art lover, I'm a pretender, but even pretenders can learn, truly learn, once they become interested. 

And what of this girl below who's right into this topic, such that she's made me now interested in certain questions about it?  You know, I've been in such cathedrals and other buildings, I've seen those arches and naves and all that but did it mean a lot?  Nope, because I was expected to be right into it.  And my reactions were always the same reason I'd not go further in the military ... not too good on blind obedience.

And yet now I look at the differences between Romanesque and Gothic, how Wren considered Gothic a pejorative the way it was applied and as I look with new eyes, I realise I prefer rounded arch Romanesque, solid, not relying on columns and buttresses, not over-reaching to the heavens like the Tower of Babel or CERN.  I dislike Rococo and yet like early Baroque music, misshapen pearl music, no true classicist and yet thereabouts.  Getting off topic here.

Mostly I like her innocent interest in the topic, surely the first sign of a good teacher, being able to explain why the trad is what it is ... but more worryingly, concerned that it's now all being torn down, like a death cult cuckoo laying its own eggs in someone else's nest building.  Invasion of the Body Snatchers.


In a similar way, I'm learning about the South in America and US politics, the carpetbaggers, especially now, plus bible history, through the shared experience and interest of an avid learner ... which is always the first step to becoming a teacher of any value.

Chaps and chapesses, no need to tell you ... the day we stop learning is the day we may as well pack up and shuffle off.  Our work will have been done.

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