📕 Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler | A Book Review
“Decline of the West” is one of those books you’ll never hear about in school. Not because it is old, or because it is irrelevant but because it’s themes do not fit in with many curriculums. Oswald Spengler outlines his perspective on society’s culture and civilization, which conflict with the zeitgeist in academia.
I didn't complete the book, though I intend to return to it in the future. While skipping around quite bit, it seems likely that about a third of the book passed through my eyes. I think his premise about the cyclical nature of society is well supported.
Notes & Quotes
“Historians...hardest task [is] concerned with the symbolism of history and its analogies”
If a field such as physics is viewed through the lens of being an art, then its next fashion statement will result from the conditions of the culture that pours itself into the craft to solve mysteries with the available resources, some of which are the perspectives of the people alive and paying attention during that time.
Relative context of “here” and “now”
Fashion cycle: “youth, growth, maturity, decay”
“In all history there is no analogous case of one Culture making a passionate cult of the memory of another”
Culture : inward : soul :: civilization : outward : intellect
“We cannot help it if we are born as men of the early winter of full Civilization”
“The free organ-playing of Bach and his time was nothing of it was not analysis - analysis of a strange and vast tone-world.”
“Within and for the purposes of the world that Classical man evolved...mathematic was a complete thing - it is merely not so for us.”
“Numbers are symbols of the mortal."
“Arts as the symbol of the higher order”
“It was, as always, the struggle between hand and soul, between eye and instrument, between form willed by the artist and the form willed by time - the struggle between Plastic and Music.”