Title: The Culture We Deserve : A Critique of Disenlightenment
Binding: Paper Back
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press May 1989
0819562378 / 9780819562371
Seller ID: 20110606188212
Or, becoming a ''creature with a thousand antennas,'' a true ''dilettante'' (seeker of delight) and ''amateur'' (lover). Culture, in the sense of cultivation, that is, taking the raw substances of our minds, turning them over, plowing, and seeding them with good seed in such a way that the potentialities of both our selves and what has been implanted are visibly and usefully realized, that is one thing we pursue in this catalog. In our lives. As ''art-and-culture'' has scampered into the universities, and intelligence has become viewed as scholarship, true ''civilization'' of the self has been lost and that primarily by an overweening self-consciousness. We show our smarts by analyzing. We analyze everything -- literature, painting, music, drama. To analyze we must break down, view parts, dissect. The mind of natural science has usurped the world. What is needed for ''culture'' is what Pascal termed ''esprit de finesse'' -- mental fitness, intuitive understanding -- that faculty which inspects, seizing upon the character of the whole and comprehending it. Culture is for meditation and conversation. No conversation is systematic. And true meditation excludes nothing -- it seeks to understand and to take the fullest view. ''This is how culture reshapes the personality; it develops the self by offering kindred spirits the vicarious experiences of art and thought; it puts experience in order; and its impulse is love.'' Barzun examines today's temper. He waxes cultural on history, criticism, relativism, rhetoric, the humanities and fine art. He exemplifies culture as ''the traditional things of the mind and spirit, the interests and abilities acquired by taking thought.'' It is precisely this kind of living, this comprehension, this graceful understanding and finesse, that we hope our books nourish.