October 27, 2012
THERE is a brief essay at Tradition in Action by the late Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira on the Santa Maria Formosa Square in Venice in the 18th century. From the piece:
This small world assembled around a square is ceremonious and distinguished, yet it is also marked by a note of intimacy. It reveals the spirit of a society where men, far from being dissolved in the anonymous multitudes, tend to create organic and distinct groups that escape the isolation, anonymity and desolation of the individual facing the masses.
In this square, so picturesque and human, so distinguished and so typically sacral with the radiating presence of the small church, the different classes live together harmoniously. How it differs from some of the immense modern squares, where on the mare magnum [enormity] of asphalt and lost in an agitated mob walking madly in every direction, men can only see the cyclopean skyscrapers that dishearten them.