Introducing Castrovalva

I have just stumbled upon a new blog: Castrovalva by a certain Richard R..

From the introduction:

The fulminations, peregrinations and ruminations on this site are the work of someone who would call himself a pragmatist, distrusting metaphysical concepts in favour of the existential, but I’d also describe myself as a romantic, fascinated by decay, decadence, the skewed and the exotic. I would call myself an outsider, but distrust the very term, since the very idea of rebellion and non-comformity is the basis of modern culture and comes complete with its own brands and uniforms. I am a pessimist and sceptic, though this has only ever stemmed from disappointed idealism. I would call myself a traditionalist, revering the literature, art and architecture of past decades and centuries while remaining contemptuous of the modern. But I also feel nothing but contempt for conservatism and would call myself a liberal. I would call myself an atheist, though not a rationalist. To be strict, I would call myself an agnostic, in that although I consider god’s existence highly unlikely I am concerned less with this than with the social and ethical aspects of religion; I became an atheist after reading the Book of Revelations, and being horrified and revolted by it.

At present this site is comprised of three main sections. The first is a gallery of architectural and historical photographs. The tenets section contains a set of observations and notes, combining a journal and commonplace book as well as including impressions of art galleries, museums and books. As an extension of this, there is now a weblog, called The Thief’s Journal. For links and articles, there is also my del.icio.us pages.

From a July 2006 post concerned with individuality [external links changed/added]:

Of late, I’ve been reading two very different texts that share several themes in common. The first of these, Colin Wilson’s The Outsider, a survey of alienation in romantic and existential literature. As a work of criticism it tends to be somewhat reductive, seeing anomie as a byproduct of thwarted mysticism, a somewhat difficult theory to approach the post-christian likes of Camus and Sartre with. Accordingly, Nietzsche in deflated to a religious mystic while the moral questions that so excised Bakhtin in his reading of Dostoevsky are declared an irrelevance.

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