Part III. The Muses' Farewell -

24 May 2000
9.30 – 22.00
Tilburg University

The Legacy of the Twentieth Century

Published in

Journal Nexus
2010 or Earlier

Nexus 27

Het testament van de 20ste eeuw Deel III. Het vaarwel van de muzen

Het testament van de 20ste eeuw Deel III. Het vaarwel van de muzen

Dutch publication containing essays on the world of the Muses and the secrets of culture in the twentieth century

What happened to European values and their significance? Is European culture still in crisis, or has it already demised, as the ultimate consequence of the ‘death of God’? What remains of European culture after a century marked by totalitarianism and nihilism? After World Wars, atomic bombs, and genocides, does such a culture still have a right to exist? Would it not be better to replace it with another culture, with other values? Yet, if European culture were dead and buried, what would those values be? And what happened to our concepts of ‘truth’, ‘beauty’, and ‘goodness’?

What happened to the arts in the twentieth century? In which ways did they reflect the crisis taking place within culture, and what changes did they undergo as a result of it? What happened to the knowledge of the muses, to the knowledge of culture itself ? What was the role of religion in the twentieth century? Will Europe have an answer to Nietzsche, and, if so, what will it be? It appears that religions, arts, and politics have no answers to the fundamental developments taking place in our society. What should be done? Can we once more make the muses bearers of our European culture?



Poland, 1947

Karol Berger

author Beyond Reason: Wagner contra Nietzsche

India, 1949

Homi Bhabha

known for his postcolonial theories

United States, 1942

Robert Boyers

humanities scholar and author

United States, 1924 - 2013

Arthur Danto

art philosopher

Netherlands, 1928 - 2009

Joop Doorman


Hungary, 1952

László F. Földényi

cultural scholar in the broadest sense of the word

United Kingdom, 1925

Donald Mitchell

musicologist who specializes in Mahler and Britten

Czech Republic, 1949

Scarlet Nikolska


United Kingdom, 1944 - 2020

Roger Scruton

conservative philosopher and art expert

France, 1929 - 2020

George Steiner

cultural philosopher

Russia, 1951

Tatyana Tolstaya

writer from the Tolstoy family

Poland, 1945 - 2021

Adam Zagajewski

poet and essayist

The Netherlands, 1951

Ian Buruma

observer and analyst of the Eastern and Western worlds

United States, 1951

Esther Dyson

information technologist

United States, 1932

Peter Eisenman


The Netherlands, 1961

Michel Krielaars

journalist, Russia specialist

United Kingdom, 1924 – 2019

John Richardson

art historian, Picasso biographer

The Netherlands, 1950

Elmer Schönberger

author and composer

United States, 1933 - 2004

Susan Sontag

writer and philosopher