Sailors love and know our historical heritage

 Many young sailors from BELMOIRA, BERNIS, LAKE SAINT CLARE, AGIA DOXA, whose age is sometimes difficult to determine with certainty, come to FRANCE for the first time. A first stopover in Montoire or La Palisse (La Rochelle) and of which ROUEN constitutes, for most of the time a penultimate station, before returning home by plane far from Europe … What was not my amazement and astonishment at their interest in history and their questioning about Joan of Arc : what can a national heroine of the late Western Middle Ages represent for populations of a completely different tradition and culture ?).

 The second officer of the DISCOVERER tells me that he really likes ROUEN for its architecture. I recommend him to visit the cathedral, jewel of the Gothic heritage, and, if one has the opportunity to go inside to admire the height and perfect technicality of the vaults as well as the stained glass windows of the twelfth century of the choir.

Another remark also puzzled me because it came up several times during our discussions : the sailors ask me if the city is « safe », that is to say safe… It seems that some stopovers whose geographical position I will not mention are dangerous and not recommended. I will comeback in the next newsletter on this notion of state order.


Can one culture be judged by one's own: what is ethnocentrism?

Should we prioritize the arts ?

 If the question of beauty has questioned philosophers a lot since antiquity (remember the 7 inspiring muses of all the arts), the Greek philosophers, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and their school make beauty consist in the symmetry of the parts and the grandeur of the objects; They hardly consider the subjective aspect of beauty: that is to say that what is beautiful must lead to the adhesion of all … This is his universalism (« of beauty one does not discuss » would say Kant). Making the judgment taste as something relative to each one annihilates any reality of the idea that must be imposed unanimously. One can only recognize the genius of Mona Lisa, from the overture of Mozart’s Magic Flute. Without going into the considerations of whether the natural beauty (the beauty of an insect, a storm, or even an octopus) is superior to the artificial beauty (that of the parietal art of the Chauvet cave or the statuary of the caryatids of the Parthenon), propose a common definition: « Is beautiful the characteristic of a thing that through a sensory experience (perception through the 5 senses that each offer a different modality) or intellectual provides a sensation of pleasure or a sense of satisfaction.


Les Sept Arts Libéraux, vers 1460, Giovanni di ser Giovanni, Lo Scheggia (Barcelona, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya). Ce panneau, réalisé par le peintre Lo Scheggia, frère de Masaccio, est une représentation allégorique des sept arts, et à ses pieds les hommes sages.

Moreover, some philosophers, mainly Germans, claim to classify the arts according to their value: Hegel in Aesthetics (1830), places poetry, romantic art par excellence, at the top of the hierarchy. Schopenhauer, in the world as will and representation, (1819) and whose path Nietzsche in the birth of tragedy (1872) will follow, prefer music. Still, the artist is a visionary who reveals a reality that escaped the greatest number, whose technique or virtuosity are only means that have no other purpose than to arouse enthusiasm and contemplative admiration….

« What is the artist? He is a man who sees better than others, because he looks at reality naked and without veils. To see with painter’s eyes is to see better than ordinary mortals. Bergson.

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