Catherine's political abilities are tested when she's given an opportunity to travel abroad. Leo wants to leave court. Marial tries to keep him there by telling him about the coup. Catherine moves forward with the coup.
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Of the many cultural changes the last few years have wrought, one of the most striking has been the demise of the Great Man: the person so celebrated for his distinguished contributions to not only his field, but to society at large, that anyone who examined too closely the foibles and crimes of his personal behavior was dismissed as a scold or a shrew. The human instinct is to make gods of men not just males, but mostly , while later witnessing their downfall with either a kind of grim glee or an aggrieved pity. Yet no one is, or ever has been, worthy of celebration in all aspects of their life — a person can accomplish wondrous things and still be a terrible human, and our unwillingness to accept that paradoxical binary means that we keep repeating the same patterns of idolization and recrimination, again and again. So now that that old definition of greatness has proven reductive, what does the term mean? In this magazine, we define greatness as foresight, an inimitable perspective. The people who possess these qualities are those who have worked as devotedly as they have not because they wanted to be celebrated, but because they had something urgent and distinctive to say. In doing so, they changed their respective fields, as well as the culture around them. What strikes me every year about the honorees in this issue is that, although their disciplines may be different, they have in common a deep-rooted patience. All of them consider themselves eternal students, an identity that by its very nature demands a perpetual humility — think of the photographer Dawoud Bey , already an accomplished artist before he enrolled in the M. They remind us that taking your work seriously need not translate into self-seriousness.
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In our Greats issue, out Oct. They have in common an essential and fierce desire to communicate, whether through beauty or provocation, or both. We revere the imagination, and yet we struggle to accept it as fundamentally elusive: Every artistic biography or critical essay is, in some part, an attempt to pierce the mystery of creation, to explain what is so often inexplicable.