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Brooks Riley

What a wonderful blog! I’m so glad you gave me the link. It’s bookmarked now for past and future reading.
I’m not sure if Dürer had a library. He didn’t need one. His best friend Pirckheimer’s library was legendary, the best in Nuremberg and beyond. All Albrecht had to do was pop around to Pirckheimer’s place and he had access to extraordinary things. Dürer knew Latin from school, but no Greek. Pirckheimer specialized in translating from Greek to Latin, so Dürer probably read the philosophers that way. That library (or most of it) was sold to an English lord and has ended up in the British Museum. One could devote another lifetime to delving into that trove. . .
I looked at the trailer for the film of The Library at Night, and wondered, in a six-degrees-of-cultural-separation moment, if its director is the same Robert Lepage who directed the Met’s most recent Wagner Ring Cycle!
For some reason, your references to Velasquez’s library and especially that of Cervantes brought to mind one of my favorite books, The Manuscript found in Saragossa, by Jan Potocki, which I’m sure you know. Potocki, Dürer and Wagner all had one thing in common, that ‘eternal’ supply of figures, motifs, stories, and sounds gestating in their brains—a transcendent imagination that breaks away from the orderly progress of an art form and reinvents it. Potocki wasn’t quite as prolific as the other two, but that one book contains worlds.


Brooks, I wrote about Chartres today at 3QD... if you get this, I have something fun to tell you!

Brooks Riley

After posting a comment to your Chartres piece, I was hit with serious flu. Now I'm back, chastened, but ready to stretch my brain again. What is this something fun you have to tell me? Something fun would be good.

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