What We Are Reading Today: Greek Art and Aesthetics in the Fourth Century B.C.

Updated 10 September 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Greek Art and Aesthetics in the Fourth Century B.C.

  • The nature of “style as a concept of expression,” an issue that becomes more important given the increasingly multiple styles

AUTHOR: William A. P. Childs

Greek Art and Aesthetics in the Fourth Century B.C. analyzes the broad character of art produced during this period, providing an in-depth analysis of and commentary on many of its most notable examples of sculpture and painting.
Taking into consideration developments in style and subject matter, and elucidating political, religious, and intellectual context, William A. P. Childs argues that Greek art in this era was a natural outgrowth of the high classical period and focused on developing the rudiments of individual expression that became the hallmark of the classical in the fifth century.
As Childs shows, in many respects the art of this period corresponds with the philosophical inquiry by Plato and his contemporaries into the nature of art and speaks to the contemporaneous sense of insecurity and renewed religious devotion. Delving into formal and iconographic developments in sculpture and painting, Childs examines how the sensitive, expressive quality of these works seamlessly links the classical and Hellenistic periods.


What We Are Reading Today: Chaucer: A European Life by Marion Turner

Updated 20 March 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Chaucer: A European Life by Marion Turner

  • Marion Turner reconstructs in unprecedented detail the cosmopolitan world of Chaucer’s adventurous life

More than any other canonical English writer, Geoffrey Chaucer lived and worked at the center of political life—yet his poems are anything but conventional. Edgy, complicated, and often dark, they reflect a conflicted world, and their astonishing diversity and innovative language earned Chaucer renown as the father of English literature. Marion Turner, however, reveals him as a great European writer and thinker. To understand his accomplishment, she reconstructs in unprecedented detail the cosmopolitan world of Chaucer’s adventurous life, focusing on the places and spaces that fired his imagination, according to a review on the Princeton University Press website. 

Uncovering important new information about Chaucer’s travels, private life, and the early circulation of his writings, this innovative biography documents a series of vivid episodes, moving from the commercial wharves of London to the frescoed chapels of Florence and the kingdom of Navarre, where Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side by side. The narrative recounts Chaucer’s experiences as a prisoner of war in France, as a father visiting his daughter’s nunnery, as a member of a chaotic Parliament, and as a diplomat in Milan, where he encountered the writings of Dante and Boccaccio. The book also offers a comprehensive exploration of Chaucer’s writings.