The news is so interesting these days that I wonder whether it is just the moment or that we, the world at large, are more focused on every little thing that occurs. I can’t help but be interested in all of them, particularly after having just finished Thomas Cahill’s, “Sailing the Wine Dark Sea” or “Why the Greeks Matter”. There is no question in my mind that the ancient Greeks matter now as much as ever.
One reason why the Greeks matter is because they gave us the concept of hubris which roughly translates as pride. The antiques business is one of many that has suffered from hubris. As dealers, we believed that antiques were not only good investments but integral to the lives of rich people everywhere. For people that know and care about antiques, they are integral because they are so much more than just furniture, but the rest of the world could care less. Hence, a noteworthy news item to antique dealers that the Grosvenor House Antiques Fair is no more, comes as a shock. The apparent reason is that the hotel no longer wants to host the event.
The Greeks were said to be interested in the essence of things. In other words, they always wanted to know the story behind the story. It is said that the Romans of that era could care less about the essence of things, they just wanted a semblance of what the Greeks had so they just copied everything that was Greek. Fortunatley, a lot of what the Romans copied was copied well, but it wasn’t really until the Renaissancethat the Italians could be said to be truly creative in both their thinking and their arts.
It is said that no news is good news, but if you think about the play, “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles, Oedipus was incapable of escaping his fate no matter what the news was. Fate, per se, does not worry me, but my twenty-first century sense of free will makes me want to believe that one can ameliorate some aspects, global warming for example, of the future. I guess that is what someone who lives on a fault line or an Iranian Ayatollah also believes. Antique dealers have it easy.