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Rough and Ready

Written by The Reader, 2nd December 2010

Editor of The Reader magazine, Professor Phil Davis, has written the latest blog for the newly established Institute of Cultural Capital (ICC) in Liverpool. Phil, Head of School of the Arts and a Board member of the ICC, writes about how he hope it will be a rough ride:

For I am tired of apparently smooth passages provided by smooth talkers. I go back to John Ruskin in ‘The Nature of Gothic’, one of the great Victorian texts for the foundation of a great Victorian city. There Ruskin says one thing I have never forgotten. In countering the institutionalised estimates of the world, he says that all too often people won’t accept that imperfection of a high order is better than perfection of a low order. In other words, according to the normal estimates of our society, to roll a stone of one hundred weight all the way up a hill is accounted success; but to roll a stone of ten hundredweight only halfway-up a hill is deemed failure; yet the latter is far greater an endeavour. An ostensibly small thing easily dismissed as failure may be greater in reality than an easily apparent success, but we need to change the way these things are measured or recognised if we are to get to that reality. Read in full.

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