[on the Abbot Suger]
He said, "The dull mind rises to truth through that which is material". Well, this was really a revolutionary concept in the Middle Ages. It was the intellectual background of all the sublime works of art of the next century and in fact has remained the basis of our belief in the value of art until today.
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Enlighteneing, engaging, and intimate program of scholarly work
First broadcast in 1969,Civilization was produced not only to showcase the new medium of color television but also to reassure a then turbulent society of its established roots.
Before viewing Civilization I had never heard of Kenneth Clark, or K Clark as he was known to his contemporaries. At first glance he appears to be the product of a stodgy old order, a stereotypical brown flannel suit poised very uneasily in the Age of Aquarius. However his soft demeanor, articulate observations and frank but reasonable opinions quickly become very endearing qualities. I soon found myself very disappointed I had never met the man, or at least lived through his era.
I can say with confidence that if you seriously enjoy history, particularly the European variety, you will enjoy Civilization. Even if you don't, the stunning and intimate portrayal of 1500 years of art may still be captivating enough to hold your attention. This program is unlike anything broadcast in the post-MTV era, and it sets a standard of culture and erudition that puts networks which should know better, like the History Channel, to shame.
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