C.P. Snow would weep

In today’s New York Times, William Grimes wrote an art review on ‘Marks of Genius,’ Works From the Bodleian, at the Morgan.

Most of the review was fun to read, but one sentence I found completely horrifying.

Speaking of Euclid’s “Elements” and Newton’s “Principia Mathematica”, and thinking back on his own failure to learn geometry and calculus, he remarked that these “immortal works, beautifully printed and bound, are, in the end, math books.”

I am sorry that Mr. Grimes had a bad experience in high school, but personal experiences of adolescent trauma have no place in a discussion of works of unsurpassed intellectual beauty and genius.

After all, if you were once beaten up in tenth grade by some angry Hassids, does that mean you should dismiss the work of Arthur Miller, because the great playwright was “in the end, a Jew”?

One Response to “C.P. Snow would weep”

  1. J. Peterson says:

    The manuscripts room at the British Museum was one of the highlights for me. There’s something amazing about the scraps of notebook paper Beatles John and Paul wrote their lyrics on, or the original hand-lettered & illustrated “Alice in Wonderland”.

Leave a Reply