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FRIED LIGHT: The tale of the tape
I recently finished listening to a 48-tape history of the Roman Republic and Empire.
Since I spend a good part of my day reading news and documents, non-fiction for some reason is harder for me to read as a recreational pursuit, unless I become obsessed with a whole subject for a time, in which case I dive into several books at once.
When the recession/depression struck, I was inexplicably compelled to read about the Renaissance, maybe because subconsciously I was trying to get a tip on a happy ending.
The Renaissance was actually a very painful and frantic beginning to so many features of our culture and values. It was a breathless and dangerous time to be alive, but a little less dangerous than the “Black Plague” and the endless strife that came just before it, and the religious wars that followed.
Jaques Barzun, the great French cultural historian who now lives in San Antonio and reached his 100th birthday in 2007, wrote a book, “From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present. He thought the Renaissance marked the beginning of the decline of Western Civilization.
Clearly, after Leonardo da Vinci, and his contemporaries there was nowhere for the human race to go but down.
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