Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Roman Ghetto

                                                                     Porticus Octaviae 

我们过了台伯河,就看到了Porticus Octaviae废墟。有个小老头在废墟门口坐在地上,自得其乐地拉手风琴。Porticus Octaviae是Augustus在公元前20几年的时候为他姐姐修建的。公元后80年就被烧掉了,后来就成了一个鱼市,现在就是这个样子。2千多年大概一直是这个样子吧?我在罗马时时感叹,石头比我们活得长久多了。

The Roman Ghetto was established as a result of Papal bull Cum nimis absurdum, promulgated by Pope Paul IV on 14 July 1555. The bull also required the Jews of Rome, which had existed as a community since before Christian times and which numbered about 2,000 at the time, to live in the ghetto. The ghetto was a walled quarter with three gates that were locked at night. The wall was built under the direction of the architect Giovanni Sallustio Peruzzi. The money for its construction – 300 scudi – had to be paid by the Jewish community. The area of Rome chosen for the ghetto was the most undesirable quarter of the city, subject to constant flooding by the Tiber River. At the time of its founding, the four-block area was expected to contain roughly 1,000 inhabitants.
在教皇统治的罗马, 犹太人是最下等的公民,只能在隔离区内从事最下贱的工作,不能拥有任何财产,不算合法公民。这是Roesler Franz时代的隔离区内。

一直到1882年,罗马犹太隔离区才从法律上被废除了,犹太人被授予公民权。 现在这一带仍然是犹太人聚集的地区,有最大的犹太会堂和博物馆,很多餐馆,礼品店。 我们来到小广场上,虽说正是中午,可仍然聚集了很多当地人,各式犹太清真餐馆,小酒吧生意兴隆,仍然反射着当年Franz画里的场面。

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ettore Roesler Franz





Ettore Roesler Franz (May 11, 1845 - March 26, 1907) was an Italian painter and photographer of German origin. Roesler Franz was born in Rome. He was a specialıst in the technique of watercolor.

His most famous work is a series of 120 aquarelles (water colors) named "Roma sparita" (disappeared Rome), where he portrayed with great realism parts of the city which he supposed were going to be destroyed in the effort to modernize it. Many of his aquarelles are now at the Museo di Roma in Trastevere at Piazza Sant’Egidio. He died in Rome in 1907.





It is home again







Chicago, it is home again!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Team of Rivals

1. Edwin M. Stanton

Stanton treated Lincoln with utter contempt at their initial acquaintance when the two men were involved in a celebrated law case in the summer of 1855. Unimaginable as it might seem after Stanton's demeaning behavior, Lincoln offered him "the most powerful civilian post within his gift"--the post of secretary of war--at their next encounter six years later. On his first day in office as Simon Cameron's replacement, the energetic, hardworking Stanton instituted "an entirely new regime" in the War Department. After nearly a year of disappointment with Cameron, Lincoln had found in Stanton the leader the War Department desperately needed. Lincoln's choice of Stanton revealed his singular ability to transcend personal vendetta, humiliation, or bitterness. As for Stanton, despite his initial contempt for the man he once described as a "long armed Ape," he not only accepted the offer but came to respect and love Lincoln more than any person outside of his immediate family. He was beside himself with grief for weeks after the president's death.

 2. Salmon P. Chase

Chase, an Ohioan, had been both senator and governor, had played a central role in the formation of the national Republican Party, and had shown an unflagging commitment to the cause of the black man. No individual felt he deserved the presidency as a natural result of his past contributions more than Chase himself, but he refused to engage in the practical methods by which nominations are won. He had virtually no campaign and he failed to conciliate his many enemies in Ohio itself. As a result, he alone among the candidates came to the convention without the united support of his own state. Chase never ceased to underestimate Lincoln, nor to resent the fact that he had lost the presidency to a man he considered his inferior. His frustration with his position as secretary of the treasury was alleviated only by his his dogged hope that he, rather than Lincoln, would be the Republican nominee in 1864, and he steadfastly worked to that end. The president put up with Chase's machinations and haughty yet fundamentally insecure nature because he recognized his superlative accomplishments at treasury. Eventually, however, Chase threatened to split the Republican Party by continuing to fill key positions with partisans who supported his presidential hopes. When Lincoln stepped in, Chase tendered his resignation as he had three times before, but this time Lincoln stunned Chase by calling his bluff and accepting the offer.

 3. Abraham Lincoln

When Lincoln won the Republican presidential nomination in 1860 he seemed to have come from nowhere--a backwoods lawyer who had served one undistinguished term in the House of Representatives and lost two consecutive contests for the U.S. Senate. Contemporaries attributed his surprising nomination to chance, to his moderate position on slavery, and to the fact that he hailed from the battleground state of Illinois. But Lincoln's triumph, particularly when viewed against the efforts of his rivals, owed much to a remarkable, unsuspected political acuity and an emotional strength forged in the crucible of hardship and defeat. That Lincoln, after winning the presidency, made the unprecedented decision to incorporate his eminent rivals into his political family, the cabinet, was evidence of an uncanny self-confidence and an indication of what would prove to others a most unexpected greatness.

 4. William H. Seward

A celebrated senator from New York for more than a decade and governor of his state for two terms before going to Washington, Seward was certain he was going to receive his party's nomination for president in 1860. The weekend before the convention in Chicago opened he had already composed a first draft of the valedictory speech he expected to make to the Senate, assuming that he would resign his position as soon as the decision in Chicago was made. His mortification at not having received the nomination never fully abated, and when he was offered his cabinet post as secretary of state he intended to have a major role in choosing the remaining cabinet members, conferring upon himself a position in the new government more commanding than that of Lincoln himself. He quickly realized the futility of his plan to relegate the president to a figurehead role. Though the feisty New Yorker would continue to debate numerous issues with Lincoln in the years ahead, exactly as Lincoln had hoped and needed him to do, Seward would become his closest friend, advisor, and ally in the administration. More than any other cabinet member Seward appreciated Lincoln's peerless skill in balancing factions both within his administration and in the country at large.

 5. Edward Bates

A widely respected elder statesman, a delegate to the convention that framed the Missouri Constitution, and a former Missouri congressman whose opinions on national matters were still widely sought, Bates's ambitions for political success were gradually displaced by love for his wife and large family, and he withdrew from public life in the late 1840s. For the next 20 years he was asked repeatedly to run or once again accept high government posts but he consistently declined. However in early 1860, with letters and newspaper editorials advocating his candidacy crowding in upon him, he decided to try for the highest office in the land. After losing to Lincoln he vowed, in his diary, to decline a cabinet position if one were to be offered, but with the country "in trouble and danger" he felt it was his duty to accept when Lincoln asked him to be attorney general. Though Bates initially viewed Lincoln as a well-meaning but incompetent administrator, he eventually concluded that the president was an unmatched leader, "very near being a 'perfect man.'"


我从来就是个林肯迷。一直认为他是耶稣以后, 对这个世界的道德的重建最具有影响力的伟人。

看了电影《林肯》后, 我的好奇心又被激发了起来。于是, 买了《Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln》>Kindle Edition, 每天晚上读几页。

This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.
The life and times of Abraham Lincoln have been analyzed and dissected in countless books. Do we need another Lincoln biography? In Team of Rivals, esteemed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin proves that we do. Though she can't help but cover some familiar territory, her perspective is focused enough to offer fresh insights into Lincoln's leadership style and his deep understanding of human behavior and motivation. Goodwin makes the case for Lincoln's political genius by examining his relationships with three men he selected for his cabinet, all of whom were opponents for the Republican nomination in 1860: William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, and Edward Bates. These men, all accomplished, nationally known, and presidential, originally disdained Lincoln for his backwoods upbringing and lack of experience, and were shocked and humiliated at losing to this relatively obscure Illinois lawyer. Yet Lincoln not only convinced them to join his administration--Seward as secretary of state, Chase as secretary of the treasury, and Bates as attorney general--he ultimately gained their admiration and respect as well. How he soothed egos, turned rivals into allies, and dealt with many challenges to his leadership, all for the sake of the greater good, is largely what Goodwin's fine book is about. Had he not possessed the wisdom and confidence to select and work with the best people, she argues, he could not have led the nation through one of its darkest periods.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Paul Klee

今天去书店,发现了这个画家,其实他在现代美术史上占有一席,我居然不知道。孤陋寡闻, 很惭愧, 要补课。

Charles Augustus Lindbergh


1927年5月20日,林德伯格驾驶单引擎飞机圣路易斯精神号(机型为莱安NYP-1),从纽约市罗斯福飞行场起飞,目的地是巴黎,准备飞越大西洋,进行不着陆单人飞行。在接下来的33.5小时中,林德伯格面临许多挑战,包括以10,000英尺(3,000米)的高度掠过两个积雨云,也在10英尺(3.0米)的高度飞越海面。他曾在雾中迷航好几个小时。查尔斯·奥古斯都·林德伯格仅靠着天文航海技术及航位推算法(Dead reckoning)来引导飞行方向。

 他于5月21日10:22PM顺利抵达巴黎巴黎-勒布尔热机场,守候在当地的观众估计有150,000人之多。林德伯格在警察及军队的保护下才得以从人群中脱身。林德伯格立刻成为世界著名的人物,更因此获奥特洛奖(Orteig Prize)。

林德伯格的妻子是作家安妮·默洛·林德伯格(Anne Morrow Lindbergh),他们在1929年结婚,共育有六名子女。其长子查尔斯·林德伯格三世在1932年新泽西家中被绑架,最初凶手要求五万美金赎金,后来提高到七万。但是最后查尔斯·林德伯格三世遭到撕票,该案件震惊美国,被视为“世纪犯罪”。记者H·L·门肯将之形容为“耶稣复活以来最重大的犯罪”。凶手后来被认定是一位德国的移民布鲁诺·豪夫曼(Bruno Richard Hauptmann),他最终被判处死刑,1936年4月3日于新泽西州立监狱执行,但许多人相信他只是倒霉的替死鬼。

英国侦探小说作家阿嘉莎·克莉斯蒂(Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie)据此疑案发挥写成《东方快车谋杀案》(Murder on the Orient Express)。