Peter Watson


Born
January 01, 1943

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Peter Watson was educated at the universities of Durham, London and Rome, and was awarded scholarships in Italy and the United States.

After a stint as Deputy Editor of New Society magazine, he was for four years part of the Sunday Times ‘Insight’ team of investigative journalists. He wrote the daily Diary column of the London Times before becoming that paper’s New York correspondent. He returned to London to write a column about the art world for the Observer and then at The Sunday Times.

He has published three exposes in the world of art and antiquities and from 1997 to 2007 was a Research Associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. He has published twelve books of non-fiction and seven no
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“One of the many innovations of modernism was the new demands it placed on the audience. Music, painting, literature, even architecture, would never again be quite so 'easy' as they had been.”
Peter Watson, A Terrible Beauty: The People and Ideas That Shaped the Modern Mind: A History

“...for example, if Freud is wrong, as i and many others believe, where does that leave any number of novels and virtually the entire corpus of surrealism, Dada, and certain major forms of expressionism and abstraction, not to mention Richard Strauss' 'Freudian' operas such as Salome and Elektra, and the iconic novels of numerous writers such as D.H. Lawrence, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann and Virginia Woolf? It doesn't render these works less beautiful or pleasurable, necessarily, but it surely dilutes their meaning. They don't owe their entire existence to psychoanalysis. But if they are robbed of a large part of their meaning, can they retain their intellectual importance and validity? Or do they become period pieces? I stress the point because the novels, paintings and operas referred to above have helped to popularise and legitimise a certain view of human nature, one that is, all evidence to the contrary lacking, wrong.”
Peter Watson, A Terrible Beauty: The People and Ideas That Shaped the Modern Mind: A History

“For many scientists, as Lyotard concedes, scientific knowledge is the only form of knowledge there is, but if so, how then do we understand fairy stories and law?”
Peter Watson, A Terrible Beauty: The People and Ideas That Shaped the Modern Mind: A History

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