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John Martineau interview – “Quadrivium – Number, Geometry, Music, & Cosmology” – #103

This episode is an interview with John Martineau titled “Quadrivium – Number, Geometry, Music, & Cosmology” and is being released on Monday, February 07, 2011. My interview with John was recorded on February 07, 2011.

Today we’ll be revisiting the Quadrivium, but this time with John Moniteau from Wooden Books, publisher of, amongst many books, the Quadrivium.

Architectural consultant and publisher, John has published more than 50 books on all subjects related to the modern sciences and ancient arts.

In this interview we’ll talk with John about how he got started, the ideas behind his work and future publications of Wooden Books.
Browse books:

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. John Martineau seemed to give very little information during this interview & on the whole it was disappointing.

    He didn’t appear to be knowledgable in any field Jan questioned him on & when answering or exploring questions it seemed his default response was “that’s interesting” or “that’s not my field of expertise”.

    Being someone learning about the quadrivium, I don’t feel this interview is a very good use of time into the study.

  2. I agree with Nika, however i very much enjoyed this interview. I learned some interesting things, and was motivated to order Martineau’s book.

    It is interesting too that Martineau publishes a book on the Quadrivium, yet does not have a strong opinion as to how the Trivium relates to the Quadrivium.

    I strongly disagree that the Trivium would not translate into all human languages universally. I think many people make a mistake in believing that the Trivium is largely about “communicating”. I think the Trivium is mainly about “thinking”, and secondarily about communicating. All people (no matter what culture and language) use grammar, logic, and rhetoric insofar as they are rational, thinking human beings.

    I found it worth the listen if you are not trying to get “all the answers” from this speaker.

  3. The trouble with being an editor and publisher is that people expect you be an expert in the subjects you publish. This is not always the case. However, one of the delightful things about the world of books is that you do slowly gain knowledge by working with authors on complex projects, whether through arranging the subject conceptually, spatially, or visually. At no time in my career has this been more personally interesting than during the preparation, design, editing, and layout for our new book TRIVIUM, the companion to QUADRIVIUM which is published in 2016 in the UK and the US, which contains seven of our small Wooden Books, Euphonics, Grammar, Poetic Meter and Form, Logic, Rhetoric, Ethics, and Proverbs. The editorial approach we have taken in these volumes has been to present the material in a distilled and modern way. We have not included the history of these subjects, nor do we attempt to teach them as they once were taught. What we have tried to do is to use the space to present these timeless subjects in an engaging and suggestive manner to a modern readership. I am pleased to say I was wrong about TRIVIUM being untranslatable. We are hiring expert translators to get it into as many languages as possible. Not an easy task, as Euphonics will need rewriting, Poetic Meter and Form will require new examples from different languages, pages on English Grammar will need reimagining, and many of the examples in Rhetoric will need replacing; Proverbs presents special problems of its own. So, in hindsight Harold, I was technically wrong, but as a commercial publisher and editor, I was not far off the mark!

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