About Amphion

Song built the walls of the city.  So runs the old myth of Amphion, the lyrist who conjured the stones of Thebes into their places when he touched the strings of his instrument.  To the Greeks, and to their spiritual descendants, the story signified the acculturating power of art and beauty, and their capacity to summon a state of civilization out of the waste.  Wherever one looks through the records of the heritage passed down by the reciters of that myth, one finds evidence of this conviction in the generative, and re-generative, power of culture.  It is in the firmness of this same conviction that we present this journal to the public.

 

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To add another journal to the myriad publications that populate the internet would seem like an unnecessary endeavor, to say the least.  Only the most extraordinary rationale could the justify the addition of yet one more venue to the mass of choices currently on offer to readers.  But the fact is that among all the journals presently in existence, not one is dedicated to reviving the classical traditions of culture and learning that have been passed down to us.  To be sure, there are journals which serve as platforms of cultural production, but these are all marked by philosophical and aesthetic criteria derived from the spirit of the contemporary world, and so represent a clear departure from the spirit of our traditions.  And there are journals that do in fact contain a great deal of material about those traditions, but none of these seek to be actual and vital vessels for the continuation of those traditions in our own times.  This journal does aim to be such a vessel. It aims to be not merely a forum for cultural commentary, but for culture making; a forum for the practice and consideration of art-making, of education, and of philosophical reflection, all carried out in emulation of the standards set by the masters who have gone before us.

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This is the urgent and untended need which our journal aims to address.  It is the need to imagine a new way of existing in the world.  Political and economic schemes for reshaping society abound in our times, all purporting to prescribe the right remedies for what is regarded on all hands as the unsatisfactory state of things.  But time and again, these plans prove futile, not only because of the many practical impediments that stand in their way, but more decisively, because they all assume that fruitful public actions can be taken before the souls that express themselves in those actions have been properly formed and oriented.  It belongs to culture to form and to orient, and so the reclamation of culture stands as the necessary spiritual prolegomena to any viable effort to alter the conditions of our times.  It is not a new economic policy or political movement we await, but a new style and a new mode of formation, which, by giving us our world in a new way, can situate us in a new relationship to our world.  No real impediments stand in our way but our own limitations, since it is in the realm of culture that we find the freest of all human activities.  All that is lacking is a prevalent esprit de corps among the makers of culture, and a public receptive to their work.  Both of these our journal seeks to establish, by creating a center of opinion around which those in love with the greatness of the human spirit may gather. 

This center is the thing we pursue, not the thing we possess.  We do not start from any numerous or rigorous set of principles.  To do so were to overestimate the resources which our culture has to offer us at the present time, and to underestimate the vast dimensions of the work that lies before us.  We start only with a shared set of intuitions: an acute dissatisfaction with the present state of culture; a loathing for the spirit of repudiation responsible for this state; and a conviction that only a deliberate and concentrated effort can hope to transform contemporary literature, art, education, and philosophy into sources of spiritual health.  We aim to draw together those persons already accomplishing remarkable things in these disciplines – the exponents of classical education and the New Urbanism and Classical Realism – and invite them to recognize their common purposes.  It remains then to be seen what growth of beauty and wisdom will result when those inspired by the worthiness of these purposes come to know their own strength.

 

To those who share in this spirit, we offer our earnest invitation to come and join our work.  Join us as we minister, Janus-faced, to the arts of the human, with one gaze awe-struck by the wonders of our heritage, and another fervid with anticipation for the wonders yet to be.  Join us, and help us to engender the new culture.

Editors

Jon Doe

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Mark Anthony Signorelli

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Mark Anthony Signorelli is an author and classical educator....

James Doe

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