Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts

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9780393061161: Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts

Forty years in the making, a new cultural canon that celebrates truth over hypocrisy, literature over totalitarianism.

Echoing Edward Said’s belief that “Western humanism is not enough, we need a universal humanism,” the renowned critic Clive James presents here his life’s work. Containing over one hundred original essays, organized by quotations from A to Z, Cultural Amnesia illuminates, rescues, or occasionally destroys the careers of many of the greatest thinkers, humanists, musicians, artists, and philosophers of the twentieth century. In discussing, among others, Louis Armstrong, Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, James writes, “If the humanism that makes civilization civilized is to be preserved into the new century, it will need advocates. These advocates will need a memory, and part of that memory will need to be of an age in which they were not yet alive.” Soaring to Montaigne-like heights, Cultural Amnesia is precisely the book to burnish these memories of a Western civilization that James fears is nearly lost.

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About the Author:

Born in Australia, Clive James lives in Cambridge, England. He is the author of Unreliable Memoirs; a volume of selected poems, Opal Sunset; the best-selling Cultural Amnesia; and the translator of The Divine Comedy by Dante. He has written for the New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic. He is an Officer of the Order of Australia and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. From Anna Akhmatova to Stefan Zweig, Tacitus to Margaret Thatcher, this scintillating compendium of 110 new biographical essays plumbs the responsibilities of artists, intellectuals and political leaders. British critic James (Visions Before Midnight) structures each entry as a brief life sketch followed by quotations that spark an appreciation, a condemnation or a tangent (a piece on filmmaker Terry Gilliam veers into a discussion of torturers' pleasure in their work). Sometimes, as in his salute to Tony Curtis's acting or his savage assault on bebop legend John Coltrane's penchant for "subjecting some helpless standard to ritual murder," James's purpose is just bravura opinionating. But most articles are linked by a defense of liberal humanism against totalitarianisms of the left and right—and ideologues who champion them. He lionizes prewar Vienna's martyred Jewish cafe intellectuals; castigates French apologists for communism—especially Sartre, who "could sound as if he was talking about everything while saying nothing"; and chides Borges for not noticing Argentina's descent into fascism. This theme can grow intrusive; even in an entry on children's author Beatrix Potter, he feels called upon to denounce Soviet children's books. But James's brilliantly aphoristic prose, full of aesthetic insights but careful not to let aesthetics obscure morality, makes for a delightful browse suffused with a potent message. Photos.
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Descripción WW Norton Co, United States, 2007. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Echoing Edward Said s belief that Western humanism is not enough, we need a universal humanism, the renowned critic Clive James presents here his life s work. Containing over one hundred original essays, organized by quotations from A to Z, Cultural Amnesia illuminates, rescues, or occasionally destroys the careers of many of the greatest thinkers, humanists, musicians, artists, and philosophers of the twentieth century. In discussing, among others, Louis Armstrong, Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, James writes, If the humanism that makes civilization civilized is to be preserved into the new century, it will need advocates. These advocates will need a memory, and part of that memory will need to be of an age in which they were not yet alive. Soaring to Montaigne-like heights, Cultural Amnesia is precisely the book to burnish these memories of a Western civilization that James fears is nearly lost. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780393061161

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Descripción WW Norton Co, United States, 2007. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Echoing Edward Said s belief that Western humanism is not enough, we need a universal humanism, the renowned critic Clive James presents here his life s work. Containing over one hundred original essays, organized by quotations from A to Z, Cultural Amnesia illuminates, rescues, or occasionally destroys the careers of many of the greatest thinkers, humanists, musicians, artists, and philosophers of the twentieth century. In discussing, among others, Louis Armstrong, Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, James writes, If the humanism that makes civilization civilized is to be preserved into the new century, it will need advocates. These advocates will need a memory, and part of that memory will need to be of an age in which they were not yet alive. Soaring to Montaigne-like heights, Cultural Amnesia is precisely the book to burnish these memories of a Western civilization that James fears is nearly lost. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780393061161

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Descripción WW Norton Co, United States, 2007. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Echoing Edward Said s belief that Western humanism is not enough, we need a universal humanism, the renowned critic Clive James presents here his life s work. Containing over one hundred original essays, organized by quotations from A to Z, Cultural Amnesia illuminates, rescues, or occasionally destroys the careers of many of the greatest thinkers, humanists, musicians, artists, and philosophers of the twentieth century. In discussing, among others, Louis Armstrong, Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, James writes, If the humanism that makes civilization civilized is to be preserved into the new century, it will need advocates. These advocates will need a memory, and part of that memory will need to be of an age in which they were not yet alive. Soaring to Montaigne-like heights, Cultural Amnesia is precisely the book to burnish these memories of a Western civilization that James fears is nearly lost. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780393061161

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