The Times has just announced the projected demolition of the Chinese quarter in London. We protest against such moral ideas in town planning, ideas which must obviously make England more boring than it has in recent years already become. The only pageants you have left are a coronation from time to time, an occasional Royal marriage which seldom bears fruit; nothing else. The disappearance of pretty girls, of good family especially, will become rarer and rarer after the razing of Limehouse. Do you honestly believe that a gentleman can amuse himself in Soho? We hold that the so-called modern town planning which you recommend is fatuously idealistic and unnecessary. The sole end of architecture is to serve the passions of men.
Anyway, it is inconvenient that this Chinese quarter of London should be destroyed before we have the opportunity to visit it and carry out certain psycho-geographical experiments we are at present undertaking. Finally, if modernization appears to you, as it does to us, to be historically necessary, we would counsel you to carry your enthusiasm into areas more urgently in need of it, that is to say, your political and moral institutions.
Michele Bernstein, G-E. Debord, Gil G. Wolman,
Bernstein, Debord, Wolman; Letter to the Times, October 1955.
"Churches once held sacred are now but heaps of dust and ashes; and yet we have our minds set on the desire of gain. We live as though we were going to die tomorrow; yet we build as though we were going to live always in this world. Our walls shine with gold, our celings also... yet Christ dies before our doors naked and hungry in the person of his poor."
"Like the pleasure of friendship, the pleasure of beauty is curious. It aims to understand its object, and to value what it finds. Hence it tends toward a judgement of its own validity. And like every other rational judgement, this one makes implicit appeal to the community of rational beings. This is what Kant meant when he said that, in the judgement of taste, I am 'a suitor for agreement', expressing my judgement not as a private opinion but as a binding verdict that would be agreed upon by all."
roger scruton | immanuel kant | jack black | high fidelity
"Few people would fall in love had they never heard of love. Passion and expression are not really seperable. Passion comes to birth in that powerful impetus of the mind which also brings language into existence. So soon as passion goes beyond instinct and becomes truly itself, it tends toward self-description, either in order to justify or intensify its being, or else simply in order to keep going.
pre-raphaelites | denis de rougement | love | passion | beata beatrix