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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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PREFATORY NOTE TO ROMAN
TRADITIONS.
THE pilgrims of ages gone by, came to Rome to see
the spots hallowed to them by traditions of the
church.These traditions live yet, and often meet us, in the
eternal city ; but in so far as they have not been made
themes of one or another distinguished artist’s produc-
tions, they are passed by with indifference. For Rome’s
purely historic memories, its treasures of beauty from the
days of antiquity or of the new birth of art, the many-
colored life of its people, and its beautiful environs, ap-
peal with incomparably better right to the stranger’s
mind. One and another " legend " may, however, still be
read ; and this seems to me especially true of those that
have become linked to the life and death of the great
apostles. Without seeking these traditions, I found them
on my way, and venture herewith to offer them to the
public.
If one desire to reproduce them in the form they take
in the places themselves, he must surrender every
thought of clothing them in the noble and simple dress
that belong to the true creatures of a people’s imagina-
tion. With a claim, assuredly ill-founded but all the
more tenaciously held, to be pure truth, they wrap them-
selves in the garb of history. To the mass of the people
they appear as art has conceived them ; and that art is
in most cases the post-Raphaelite, which is not exactly
distinguished by straightforward simplicity. In my own
narration, I have neither been able nor wished to avoid
the influence of this. Perhaps it is far too apparent,
notably in the description of the " Ascension of Simon
the Sorcerer." ViKTOR Rydberg.

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