Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Edition of Dappled Things Out!

Our learned readers will be glad to know that the new Mary, Queen of Angels 2007 edition of Dappled Things is now available online. Several items will be of interest to our liturgically-inclined readers:

- Following the September implementation date of Pope Benedict's much talked-about motu proprio, comes Philip Carl Smith's "The Monastery, the Motu Proprio, and the Heart of the Church," a personal meditation on the importance of liturgy for the Church's life:

Dom Antoine Forgeot, the abbot of Notre Dame de Fontgombault, greeted me upon my arrival at the monastery by pouring water on my hands before the evening meal, welcoming me as if I were Christ. Fontgombault, founded in the eleventh century, has had an immense influence on the religious life of France and the United States since its reestablishment in 1948 by the Benedictines of Solesmes, and it is now an important center of Gregorian chant. For several days this past summer I received the hospitality of the monks, attending the singing of the Divine Office and participating in the solemn conventual Mass chanted each day according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII—a form of the Mass also known as the usus antiquior or the Tridentine Mass.
- Our featured article for this issue explores the nature of art and
beauty through the work of 20th century Catholic painter Carl Schmitt
in a profound essay written by his son, historian Carl Schmitt, Jr.:
Artistic beauty is only possible because of the Incarnation. In this world, we cannot see God's supreme beauty: We can only find our way to it through the light of faith. Through the Incarnation, we may now experience God in this world through our own discovery of the beauty in people and things.
-On a less liturgical note, there's also my drawing Quid Tum?, with an accompanying essay touching on Leon Battista Alberti, Ingrid Rowland and one of the most cryptic phrases in the Western Canon:
But then, as the great Renaissance scholar Ingrid Rowland has pointed out, one symbol can enfold a multiplicity of meanings. One explanation, considered less likely by linguists and more by art historians, links the epigram [Quid Tum?]—and the winged and perhaps Egyptianate eye—to the apocalyptic dread of the Dies Irae: “quid sum ego tunc dicturus?—“What shall I say then?” Alberti’s own drawn face and inner turmoil, as depicted on the portrait medal that bears the inscription, suggest a wariness at some interior chasm between the Renaissance Man, the self-proclaimed measure of all things, and the gift of the Holy Ghost that was once called the fear of the Lord.

(Rowland herself suggests translating it “Rosebud,” though this has less to do with Alberti than Rowland’s freewheeling and esoteric sense of humor, and a presumed Orson Welles fixation.)
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