Les Etrusques et l’Italie avant Rome
The Universe of forms, the famous collection founded by André Malraux, has been rejuvenated. The format has been updated, that is made more compact, the bibliogra- phies have been updated and a prelude has been added. Nothing else has really been changed and that is undoubtedly a good idea! When we dive into the volume on the Etruscans, which we owe to Bianchi Bandinelli, one is of course charmed by the erudition, the remarkable iconography and by the attention given to cultures other than the Etruscans, in particular those of Sardinia or southern France like the Picenians and the Dauniens. But the real shock comes from the text. We are so used to neutral descriptions, bordering on boredom and without any life to them, placing all forms of creation at the same levell, that we are seized by the forthrightness of the style. The author places detailed descriptions (for example on the technique of filigree) next to very definite positions(on the artisans in the region of Campania in the IVth century B.-C. : « The result often borders with disaster: they try uselessly to hide a fundamental inexperience by small discoveries »).It is a shame the typography is so tight and light, which hinders a passionate reading.
• Les Etrusques et l’Italie avant Rome , L’Univers des formes, Gallimard, 2008, 300 p., 29 €, ISBN : 978-2-07-012162-5
Review published in the newsletter #105 - from 16 October 2008 to 22 October 2008