Welcome to “Why Ruskin”

The goal of this website is to introduce readers to the remarkable thought of the great 19th Century British Art and Social Critic, John Ruskin. Even though his is hardly a household name these days, it is my deep belief that Ruskin’s brilliant thought and carefully worked out ideas (always encased in glorious prose) still retain great relevancy for our modern days, offering “new” ways of thinking about and, quite possibly, alleviating or lessening many of the troubles which continue to beset us. But there is another level to Ruskin’s genius, his unparalleled ability to make the beauty of this world and life come alive in his paragraphs. I am hopeful that, after reading some of the posts here, you might come to agree with both assessments.

If you are a First Time Visitor, I recommend that you start by reading the First Post: “An Introduction to this Site” (to do so, click on the underlined passage). Using a number of Ruskin’s best quotes, this offering explains the site’s history and goals. Then, if you’d like to read other Posts, slide your cursor to the right hand side of this page and click on the Drop Down for “Previous Posts by Topic,” select a “Category,” click on it, following which which all Posts relevant to that topic–“Nature” or “Society,” say–will appear on the screen in the sequence of their posting. More information about Ruskin and myself can be found in the Pages listed in the navigation bar under the banner photographs above. If you’d like to be notified of  subsequent Posts as they publish, click on the “FOLLOW” button at the top of the right hand column. The most recent Post on the site can always be read below this “Welcome” note (just scroll down). Questions, suggestions, or comments are always welcome.  The lovely drawing–there are many more–of a peacock and a falcon feather is Ruskin’s.

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88: The Walker and the Parcel

Good Folks,

My annual checkup occurred the other day. Nothing of note to note and, even if there were, such would not fall into any of the categories we normally discuss on this site. But, for reasons which were obvious to us both, my doc told me that a recent study had determined that, of all the forms of exercise, walking was by far the best, being easy and always salubrious. “You might think about doing a bit more of that,” he said in his understated winking way.

And then–wouldn’t you know it? (fors at work!)–the next morning I came across the following few sentences in one of Ruskin’s Modern Painters volumes. They seemed, as I read them, to somehow have been pre-destined for my train, plane, and automobile accustomed eyes. Perhaps you’ll find them helpful too. He said:

To anyone who has all his senses about him, a quiet walk, over not more than ten or twelve miles of road a day, is the most amusing of all types of travel.

All traveling becomes dull in exact proportion to its rapidity. Going by railroad I do not consider traveling at all. It is merely “being sent” to a place, and is very little different from becoming a parcel. 

Be well out there!

🙂

Jim

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