Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Simon Schama

Tonight I heard and lecture from and then was introduced to this man:

Simon Schama, the face and voice of some of the most well-done BBC documentaries (as seen above, in the Power of Art episode on Caravaggio.  I do recommend you watch for a few minutes; his insights into the power of Caravaggio's works are stunning).  I have known about Schama for several years now, as the clip above, actually, hugely influenced the argument of my undergraduate capstone paper on Caravaggio's religious works.  Tonight he was speaking as a guest of my program and thereby showcased his knowledge of Jewish, Christian and Muslim relations.  It was a great pleasure to hear from him and to shake his hand.  I made a slight fool of myself when asking him a question after his lecture (I didn't formulate the question correctly and he misunderstood it, though after consulting with a friend afterwards I realized that in asking the question, I assumed some things about the world that probably aren't true, or are at least not assumed by others), but my memories of his vast range of historical, cultural, religious and linguistic knowledge, as well as his confident and tangential way of speaking and his fabulous eccentricities will long overshadow my own momentary embarrassment :)

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