Is it possible to trace the footprints of the historical Sokrates in Athens? Was there really an individual named Romulus, and if so, when did he found Rome? Is the tomb beneath the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica home to the apostle Peter? To answer these questions, we need both dirt and words—that is, archaeology and history. Bringing the two fields into conversation, Artifact and Artifice offers an exciting excursion into the relationship between ancient history and archaeology and reveals the possibilities and limitations of using archaeological evidence in writing about the past.
Jonathan M. Hall employs a series of well-known cases to investigate how historians may ignore or minimize material evidence that contributes to our knowledge of antiquity unless it correlates with information gleaned from texts. Dismantling the myth that archaeological evidence cannot impart information on its own, he illuminates the methodological and political principles at stake in using such evidence and describes how the disciplines of history and classical archaeology may be enlisted to work together. He also provides a brief sketch of how the discipline of classical archaeology evolved and considers its present and future role in historical approaches to antiquity. Written in clear prose and packed with maps, photos, and drawings, Artifact and Artifice will be an essential book for undergraduates in the humanities.
Samuel van Hoogstraten is familiar to scholars of Dutch art as a talented pupil and early critic of Rembrandt, and as the author of a major Dutch painting treatise. In this book, Celeste Brusati looks at the art, writing, and career of this multi-faceted artist.
Analyzing van Hoogstraten's painting treatise, illusionistic pictures, ingenious perspective boxes, and witty trompe-l'oeil images, Brusati reveals the crucial role these endeavors played in the forging of van Hoogstraten's professional and social identity. Brusati looks at the historical circumstances of van Hoogstraten's career, which he fashioned from a convergence of Dutch cultural practices, family genealogy, and his considerable entrepreneurial acumen. She shows how Van Hoogstraten exploited the court patronage system to secure the worth of his work in the newer market culture of the Dutch Republic.
Brusati explores Van Hoogstraten's use of illusionistic artifice in his art and writing to shed new light on the much-disputed nature of Dutch "realism", and she discusses how a notion of "experimental artistry", which linked representational craft to the production of knowledge, informed Van Hoogstraten's many projects and framed the terms within which he and his colleagues understood artistic achievement during this period.
The Body Impolitic is a critical study of tradition, not merely as an ornament of local and national heritage, but also as a millstone around the necks of those who are condemned to produce it.
Michael Herzfeld takes us inside a rich variety of small-town Cretan artisans' workshops to show how apprentices are systematically thwarted into learning by stealth and guile. This harsh training reinforces a stereotype of artisans as rude and uncultured. Moreover, the same stereotypes that marginalize artisans locally also operate to marginalize Cretans within the Greek nation and Greece itself within the international community. What Herzfeld identifies as "the global hierarchy of value" thus frames the nation's ancient monuments and traditional handicrafts as evidence of incurable "backwardness."
Herzfeld's sensitive observations offer an intimately grounded way of understanding the effects of globalization and of one of its most visible offshoots, the heritage industry, on the lives of ordinary people in many parts of the world today.
What do contemporary American movies and directors have to say about the relationship between nature and art? How do science fiction films like Steven Spielberg’s A.I. and Darren Aronofsky’s p represent the apparent oppositions between nature and culture, wild and tame? Steven Dillon’s intriguing new volume surveys American cinema from 1990 to 2002 with substantial descriptions of sixty films, emphasizing small-budget independent American film. Directors studied include Steven Soderbergh, Darren Aronofsky, Todd Haynes, Harmony Korine, and Gus Van Sant, as well as more canonical figures like Martin Scorcese, Robert Altman, David Lynch, and Steven Spielberg. The book takes its title and inspiration from Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 film Solaris, a science fiction ghost story that relentlessly explores the relationship between the powers of nature and art. The author argues that American film has the best chance of aesthetic success when it acknowledges that a film is actually a film. The best American movies tell an endless ghost story, as they perform the agonizing nearness and distance of the cinematic image. This groundbreaking commentary examines the rarely seen bridge between select American film directors and their typically more adventurous European counterparts. Filmmakers such as Lynch and Soderbergh are cross-cut together with Tarkovsky and the great French director, Jean-Luc Godard, in order to test the limits and possibilities of American film. Both enthusiastically cinephilic and fiercely critical, this book puts a decade of U.S. film in its global place, as part of an ongoing conversation on nature and art.
Swallow Press first published Winter of Artifice in 1945, following two vastly different versions from other presses. The book opens with a film star, Stella, studying her own, but alien, image on the screen. It ends in the Manhattan office of a psychoanalyst—the Voice—who, as he counsels patients suffering from the maladies of modern life, reveals himself as equally susceptible to them. The middle, title story explores one of Nin’s most controversial themes, that of a woman’s sexual relationship with her father. Elliptical, fragmented prose; unconventional structure; surrealistic psychic landscapes—Nin forged these elements into a style that engaged with the artistic concerns of her time but still registers as strikingly contemporary.
This reissue, accompanied by a new introduction by Laura Frost and the original engravings by Nin’s husband Ian Hugo, presents an important opportunity to consider anew the work of an author who laid the groundwork for later writers. Swallow Press’s Winter of Artifice represents a literary artist coming into her own, with the formal experimentation, thematic daring, and psychological intrigue that became her hallmarks.