Friday, December 30, 2011

As 2011 Comes To A Close . . .

Two of the finest websites on the worldwide web are no longer in existence, and with great sadness I have had to remove them from my blogroll. Both websites were sui generis, and irreplaceable.

“The Art Of The Great War” was a scholarly website devoted to painting and sculpture created during and in response to World War I in Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia. The demise of the website is a great loss to history scholars and art scholars. The website’s originators were, I believe, cultural affairs officers from various countries, all working at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Texts were written by art professors from ten nations. The website, extravagantly and beautifully designed, was an offshoot of a major art exhibition, ten years in the making, that toured prominent European art museums approximately one decade ago.

“Samuel Beckett In Hamburg 1936” was a scholarly website devoted to examining exhaustively Beckett’s travels to North Germany in 1936. Each day of Beckett’s travels was documented with photographs, letters, diary entries, newspaper and magazine articles, and annotated text. The author of the website was a Professor Of Literature at a university in Hamburg—and the website, once again, was imaginatively and beautifully designed. I hope the author is in the process of turning the contents of the website into a book, because the website was both a work of scholarship and a work of art.

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