The last book of Mary Beard its titled Civilization in the look, has just come out in Spain and, as we are accustomed, it is a spree of erudition, bold thoughts and clear language completely opposed to academic obscurantism. But what catches the most attention at the first glance is that the book comes out of a television program. In 2018, Mary Beard, Simon Schama and David Olusoga (three erudite titans) presented Civilizations, which is actually a continuation of a 1969 documentary series entitled Civilization (in singular) presented by Kenneth Clark.
That program aimed to answer the question "what is civilization?", And the 2018 version twisted the idea a bit more and asked about the way we build civilizations through the look we project on art. Actually, Mary Beard is concerned about how we look at ourselves through the representations of the human body that art has left and what we really see when we confront religious art. It is not, by the way, the first time that a good book about culture and thought comes out of a British TV show. At home I keep, for example, the two volumes of the History of the Jews, by Simon Schama -considered a major work in his field-, from the scripts of the homonymous series.
I would like to challenge you to propose to the director of programs of any Spanish channel a program such as Civilizations. Put yourself in the shoes of Mary Beard and knock on the door of an office saying: "Good afternoon, I came to propose a series of programs in which we will try to answer the question of how civilizations are configured through the artistic representations of the human body and the gods. " Write down the answers, please.
As much as I look, I can not find the Spanish Mary Beard, nor do I understand what distinguishes the British from us so much. I feel a complex and ancient envy, and I do not miss reading this fabulous book.