Clark and the Self

Sir Kenneth Clark was a brilliant art historian and much, much more. He led a charmed life. I found this comment about him in an article from the Guardian to be interesting

Clark was sealed off, a mystery, even to himself. “I have no aptitude for self-analysis,” he writes in his memoirs. “When I try to examine my character, I soon give up in despair.” Perhaps it was simply that it was better to look out than within, to see the barbarians at the gate not as the enemy, but as a helpful, even soothing distraction.

We find  it odd that a man would not be intensely introspective. After all, we are urged forward to dissect and analyze ourselves on a routine basis.

Clark was not uninterested in who he was. The point is that he was much more interested in things outside of himself. It was a unique strategy focus that enabled him to learn much more deeply about the things that  he loved.

 

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