pubblicato da Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
This remarkable account of his early life and imaginative development was left unpublished by Michael Baxandall, one of the world's greatest cultural historians, at his death in 2008. Presenting a mesmerising picture both of British intellectual life in the 1940s and 50s, and at the same time of the mental, emotional and cultural formation of a man destined to transform many aspects of that world over the next forty years, Episodes is both an unputdownably gripping story, and a vividly analytic tour de force. From early childhood in Cardiff and the valleys of South Wales to school and adolescence in Manchester, followed by study with F.R. Leavis at Cambridge and then in Germany, Italy and Switzerland, the book brilliantly evokes and observes the young man who finally decides not to write novels, but to become a scholar. Recounting in coruscating detail life and work with John Pope Hennessy at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Baxandall's decision to join Gertrud Bing and Ernst Gombrich at the Warburg Institute at London University Episodes shows how the insights of the extraordinarily learned and original mature scholar were informed and moulded by the boy's enthusiasms, adventures, and rebellions. Both as a personal testimony, as a spellbinding series of vignettes and characterisations of famous and infamous contemporaries, and as a contribution to the cultural history of the mid-twentieth century, this is an essential and unforgettable book.
Readers will know that they are in the presence of a searching and highly particular mind... Baxandell observes people sharply and is even harder on himself. His rare humour is as dry as blotting sand. Sly teasing of John Pope Hennessy, his undentable boss at the V&A, is fun to read, though Baxandell admits it bounced off. The high points are the vivid evocation of his mentors, above all the literary critic F.R.Leavis who taught him as an undergraduate at Cambridge. Baxandall saw art the way that Leavis taught him to read books, less for pleasure than as 'judgements of life'. RA Magazine Cultural historians will welcome this posthumous memoir by an authoritative, independent-minded art critic and scholar, esteemed within his professional circles. Times An often brilliant, challenging and unconventional book. Eastern Daily Press He writes with ease and imagination. Art Newspaper Provides significant insight into Baxandell's critical mind. Throughout the book, Baxandell makes an effort to show that the simplest details of life are actually not at all simple. Prague Post