Books: Inspirations

Philosopher Roger Scruton
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The Independent Culture
The place

The wooded hills around Veseli in Moravia, home of the Cunning Little Vixen. One of the last corners of Europe in which you can glimpse the countryside as it was before motor transport and agribusiness. I stay there, listen to sounds vanishing from England (nightingale, skylark), walk in woods where boletus mushrooms grow, meadows where wildflowers thrive.

The play

Aeschylus's Oresteia, which shows us that we create our destiny, and are driven by it. So much horror, resolved in so cheerful and natural a way. Aeschylus provides the greatest vindication of law and civility I know.

The film

Wild Strawberries by Ingmar Bergman, who really understands how to integrate photography and dialogue, while touching on the mystery of the inner life.

The artwork

The church of S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane by Borromini, which has the intimacy, the wonder and the naturalness of the Catholic faith.

The music

Bartk's string quartet no. 3 in C sharp minor. Astonishing sounds: as if rhythm, harmony and melody had all been taken apart and reassembled. The Old Hungary is immortalised in a language which only we, the survivors, could understand.

Roger Scruton's latest book is `On Hunting' (Yellow Jersey Press)