City University of Hong Kong Dep
Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Three Faces of Western Humanism:
Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Mozart
Prof. Donald Stone
The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Date: 16 Nov 2007, Friday
Time: 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Venue: B7603 (Lift 3, 7/F, Blue Zone),Academic Building,CityU
Professor Stone’s lecture focuses on three of the greatest artists of western culture—its greatest writer, painter, and composer—and considers the humane concerns of all three. All three show us in their works that we are mortal, vulnerable, erring, and that we need to be merciful and forgiving. Shakespeare’s Prospero in The Tempest forgives his enemies; the Countess in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro forgives her unfaithful husband; the father-figure in Rembrandt’s last masterpiece, The Return of the Prodigal Son, rests his hands on his remorseful son. Perhaps Rembrandt’s theme (as well as Shakespeare’s and Mozart’s) is that we the viewers will forgive and be forgiven through our act of comprehension and sympathy. “Tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner,” as a French proverb says: to understand is to forgive. Through the beautiful use of words and images and sounds, these three artists speak in behalf of the values of western culture. Slides of Rembrandt paintings and DVD and CD extracts from Mozart’s operas will accompany the discourse.
Donald Stone,(University of California, Los Angeles) Professor Emeritus at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, is also visiting professor in the English Department of Peking University. He received degrees from UC Berkeley (BA) and Harvard (MA and PhD). He has been visiting professor at Harvard, New York University, and Capital Normal University (Beijing). He has lectured everywhere in China and the West. In 1991 he was visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Science. Among his awards was a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. His many publications include Novelists in a Changing World and The Romantic Impulse in Victorian Fiction (both published by Harvard University Press), and Communications with the Future: Matthew Arnold in Dialogue (University of Michigan Press). He has recently written the chapter on Henry James for the New Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.