Wel­co­me

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We are peo­ple li­ke you, pas­sio­na­te about li­fe, the arts and ideas that ma­ke a dif­fe­ren­ce; we li­ke the play­ful and thought­ful in­ter­ac­tion of words, mu­sic and ima­ges; we ca­re about the pre­ser­va­tion and trans­mis­sion of cul­tu­re and the en­vi­ron­ment; we are both wo­rried and ho­pe­ful about the cu­rrent sta­te of the world; we think po­si­ti­vely but not nai­vely about tech­no­logy and in­no­va­tion and we want to re­con­nect scien­ce and the hu­ma­ni­ties for the ser­vi­ce of man­kind.

Li­ke you, we do not want to li­ve in a world whe­re peo­ple are told to get in­to a com­part­ment and stay put. We want to mo­ve around squa­res and look behind bo­xes, and that is what we ha­ve been doing for most of our li­ves. We lo­ve min­gling with cha­llen­ging minds and kin­dred spi­rits, no mat­ter if they li­ved hun­dreds of years ago, or to­day, or are still to be born. We are not afraid to tra­vel in spa­ce and ti­me in the pur­suit of know­led­ge. In a way, this ma­ga­zi­ne is a ti­me- ma­chi­ne and we want you to come with us for a ri­de, for­ward to the past and back to the pro­ver­bial fu­tu­re, but ne­ver lo­sing sight of the pre­sent.

May­be our sha­red pas­sions and goals amount to squa­ring the cir­cle. Well, that is pre­ci­sely what peo­ple we ad­mi­re ha­ve been trying to do for ages, from the Greek phi­lo­sop­hers to the Al­che­mists in the Midd­le Ages or even Mi­che­lan­ge­lo and his fe­llow ge­niu­ses in the Re­nais­san­ce, all the way down to our ti­mes. Do not mi­sun­ders­tand us. For us, Squa­ring the Cir­cle does not mean com­bi­ning cip­hers and let­ters in or­der to find any kind of ar­ca­ne phi­lo­sop­hi­cal sto­ne. It is not about re­su­rrec­ting old ri­tuals or foun­ding new

Who are you?

What is this ma­ga­zi­ne about?

Why would I want to spend so­me of my va­lua­ble ti­me and mo­ney rea­ding it?

re­li­gions. It is about trying to bring to­get­her what was on­ce di­vi­ded: Man, Mind and Na­tu­re. It is an at­tempt that springs from an una­bas­hed Wes­tern hu­ma­nis­tic stand­point but that en­com­pas­ses every va­riety of man­kind´s ex­pe­rien­ce - no mat­ter its geo­grap­hi­cal or chro­no­lo­gi­cal ex­pres­sion- pro­vi­ded that it pas­ses th­ree tests:

Though we had been to­ying with it for a whi­le, the ac­tual idea for crea­ting this ma­ga­zi­ne oc­cu­rred to us on a win­ter af­ter­noon, in Ja­nuary 2017, af­ter a walk around Blooms­bury Squa­re in Lon­don, a pla­ce known for ha­ving gat­he­red so­me of the most bri­lliant, pro­vo­ca­ti­ve and vi­sio­nary minds in the first half of the XXth cen­tury. Char­les Dic­kens’ ho­me mu­seum and Ber­trand Rus­sell´s for­mer apart­ments are not far from the­re and it is just a few mi­nu­tes away from the Bri­tish Mu­seum, the Warburg Ins­ti­tu­te, the School of Orien­tal and Afri­can Stu­dies and so­me of the best books­hops in Lon­don, li­ke the Lon­don Li­te­rary Ma­ga­zi­ne´s Books­hop or Art­hur Probst­hain´s, not to talk of the le­gen­dary high tea ser­ved in the ad­ja­cent Rus­sell Ho­tel or the very fi­ne and ho­mely Asian res­tau­rants that ha­ve sprou­ted around the area. It was whi­le ha­ving a de­light­ful oko­no­mi­ya­ki in one of them when the title and the ge­ne­ral outlook of the ma­ga­zi­ne sud­denly came to our minds. We ca­lled it a per­fect match bet­ween East and West, one of the the­mes we want to high­light in our en­dea­vours.

We then re­con­ve­ned our mee­tings so­me weeks la­ter in our usual cof­fee shop in Ma­drid, El Pa­be­llón del Es­pe­jo, at Co­lum­bus Squa­re, and the pro­ject star­ted to ta­ke sha­pe all the way up and down to this Is­sue 1. It was not that dif­fi­cult, for our minds usually work in sync and com­ple­ment each ot­her qui­te well. We had met years be­fo­re in Ma­drid du­ring so­me in­for­mal se­mi­nars on fo­reign po­licy or­ga­ni­zed by Marcelino Ore­ja, a se­nior Spa­nish sta­tes­man, for­mer Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sio­ner and Mi­nis­ter of Fo­reign Af­fairs in the early ti­mes of Spain´s de­mo­cra­tic tran­si­tion. Af­ter the se­mi­nars en­ded we kept on mee­ting in dif­fe­rent pla­ces around the world, whe­re­ver our res­pec­ti­ve pro­fes­sions took us, sha­ring ideas and pro­jects on the mo­ve, li­ke a book on the Geo­po­li­tics of Energy in the Ar­ctic or a bio­graphy of Tho­mas Jef­fer­son, a man we both ad­mi­re as a hu­man em­bo­di­ment, with all his con­tra­dic­tions, of Clas­sic and Re­vo­lu­tio­nary Ti­mes.

does it en­lar­ge man’s ca­pa­ci­ties of mind and spi­rit?, does it help us to find our har­mo­nious pla­ce in Na­tu­re and the Cos­mos?, and last but not least: does it ma­ke us bet­ter?

From that win­ter walk around Blooms­bury Squa­re to this precise mo­ment it was all about fin­ding a good de­sign to show­ca­se our vi­sion and em­bar­king so­me fe­llow tra­ve­lers on what we ho­pe will be­co­me an ex­pan­ding com­mu­nity of dwe­llers, pas­sersby and on­loo­kers, all right­ful in­ha­bi­tants of this Glo­bal Squa­re. We would li­ke to con­si­der you as one of us. Wel­co­me, then, to The Glo­bal Squa­re.And now let us say a word about the de­sign, which is very clo­sely in­tert­wi­ned with the con­tents of the ma­ga­zi­ne. We li­ke Jo­seph Cor­nell´s work. He was a New York City ar­tist, shy and re­clu­si­ve, who ma­de bo­xes full of mis­ce­lla­neo­us ob­jects he found in his fre­quent pe­ram­bu­la­tions. The

ob­jects are thus en­clo­sed, but arran­ged in ways that are sug­ges­ti­ve of all kind of un­sus­pec­ted won­ders and jour­neys of the mind. So­me of his co­lla­ges re­mind us of tho­se Ad­vent Ca­len­dars so usual in the Ger­ma­nic world whe­re every De­cem­ber day is mar­ked on a lid that has to be open to dis­co­ver a treat. So we thought that our co­ver could re­sem­ble a kind of ima­gi­nary Jo­seph Cor­nell´s Ad­vent Ca­len­dar in which every rea­der could get in, mo­ve around and look behind to find a sur­pri­se to his or her li­king in each box.

Sin­ce our pro­ject is qui­te com­prehen­si­ve in sco­pe, we ha­ve crea­ted our own bo­xes wit­hin the Squa­re, each one de­vo­ted to a ge­ne­ral area of know­led­ge. Thus we came with ele­ven bo­xes (though the num­ber could be chan­ged as we evol­ve) that will co­rres­pond to re­gu­lar fea­tu­res in our ma­ga­zi­ne: on geo­po­li­tics and cu­rrent af­fairs in Mac­kin­der´s Arm­chair; the hu­ma­ni­ties, scien­ce and in­no­va­tion in The Cu­rio­sity Ca­bi­net; en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues in The Green Ro­tun­da; phi­lo­sop­hi­cal en­qui­res ta­ken to the ed­ge in Lud­wig´s Hut; law, po­li­tics and the pu­blic good in the Glo­bal Ago­ra; exam­ples of Cos­mo­po­li­tan Bio­grap­hies ap­pea­ling to our sen­se of won­der and ad­ven­tu­re; the va­rie­ties of crea­ti­ve ex­pres­sion in the Glo­bal Ar­ca­de; ex­pe­rien­cing The Lost Art of Tra­vel; li­te­rary cri­ti­cism re­la­ted to to­pics of re­le­van­ce in Rea­ding is Li­ving; en­coun­ters with ex­tra­or­di­nary peo­ple in Con­ver­sa­tions and Dispu­tations and the mee­ting bet­ween East and West On a Nam­ban Byo­bu. Every sec­tion will ha­ve at least one ex­ten­ded es­say per is­sue. The to­pics of tho­se es­says will vary, but not the vi­sion and pers­pec­ti­ve that will ins­pi­re their pre­sen­ta­tion: cul­tu­red, yet ac­ces­si­ble with a de­gree of ef­fort; se­riously iro­nic and al­ways con­nec­ting ap­pa­rently dis­pa­ra­te th­reads of facts and thoughts.

And now, come with us, let us ta­ke a walk around the Glo­bal Squa­re and look behind each box.

— The Court­yard of a Re­nais­san­ce Pa­la­ce, Hen­drick van Steenwyck the Youn­ger, 1610. The Na­tio­nal Ga­llery, Lon­don.

— Blooms­bury Squa­re, Lon­don.

— Jo­seph Cor­nell, So­lo­mon Is­lands (frag­ment), 1940-42.

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