0, 1900, 2013

There’s something about the cushion of empire that inspires both coziness and self-doubt.

There’s something very comfortable and familiar for me in visiting the Roman or the late Victorian/early Edwardian culture.  It feels all the same atmosphere as my own to me.  The debates and concerns feel relevant the way your own family’s little squabbles over obligations and possessions make all the fist clenchingly pellucid sense in the world while others’ family squabbles just seem like nonsense, really, don’t they?

The Greeks have their moments for sure, but the super-focused, confident-under-constant-attack  little island nations leave me an admiring onlooker but one alienated enough that I can on occasion feel almost in sci-fi territory.

What do you do when you’re a Roman, Victorian, post-modernist?

You like look abroad, perhaps, as an escape from the unnervingly comfortable familiar.

Or perhaps you introvert via favoring the more introspective or psychologizing philosophies available to you or your refine and keep refining the psychological novel (a couple of short notes on Henry James forthcoming).

Just some scant few scattered examples.  Unsystematic  but maybe illustrative.

Contemporary parallels not filled in but perhaps will come to mind.

A couple more notes on my over-idiosyncratic little associations on similar topics forthcoming.  Adventures in the Middle East may not make it but probably should.

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Posted in general observations
One comment on “0, 1900, 2013
  1. george says:

    What an excellent point: that self-loathing and self-doubt simply aren’t on the table for most countries — they are the luxuries of empires.

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