351 The emotional turn

That strong emotions have irresistible power over us is undeniable. What can be denied, or ignored, is the all-pervasive influence of even low-grade emotion on society and its members. The Australian Research Council (ARC) is funding a project to investigate the effects of emotion on European life in the second millennium. Schwartz brings back a progress report on emotion in art. Continue reading “351 The emotional turn”

330 Frederik Hendrik gets the hots

When P.J. Blok, one of the leading Dutch historians of the first half of the twentieth century, came across a dirty remark in a letter by a leading seventeenth-century personality of the House of Orange, he simply left it out of his transcription. Schwartz digs up the shocking source. Continue reading “330 Frederik Hendrik gets the hots”

307 The deferred 20th-century demise of the ancien régime

In 2014 the world will begin to mark the centenaries of the First World War and its attendant effects. These include the end of the age-old Central European dynasties. However, the end of the dynasties began earlier, in 1910, one hundred years ago this week, in unexpected places. As far as Schwartz is concerned, the celebrations can start right now. Continue reading “307 The deferred 20th-century demise of the ancien régime”

229 The glory of Maarssen Station

Over the course of the years, Schwartz’s pleasure in taking the train from his local station in Maarssen has declined drastically. However, the station has risen immeasurably in his esteem now that he knows that it was here, in June 1845, that the Doppler effect was first demonstrated experimentally. In his new enthusiasm, he launches a plan to commemorate that event in art whenever a train passes the station. Continue reading “229 The glory of Maarssen Station”