The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent: Selected Essays

Voorkant
Northwestern University Press, 2008 - 572 pagina's

Bringing together the thoughts of one of American literature’s sharpest cultural critics, this compendium will open the eyes of a whole new audience to the work of Lionel Trilling. Trilling was a strenuous thinker who was proud to think “too much.” As an intellectual he did not spare his own kind, and though he did not consider himself a rationalist, he was grounded in the world.

This collection features 32 of Trilling’s essays on a range of topics, from Jane Austen to George Orwell and from the Kinsey Report to Lolita. Also included are Trilling’s seminal essays “Art and Neurosis” and “Manners, Morals, and the Novel.” Many of the pieces made their initial appearances in periodicals such as The Partisan Review and Commentary; most were later reprinted in essay collections. This new gathering of his writings demonstrates again Trilling’s patient, thorough style. Considering “the problems of life”—in art, literature, culture, and intellectual life—was, to him, a vital occupation, even if he did not expect to get anything as simple or encouraging as “answers.” The intellectual journey was the true goal.

No matter the subject, Trilling’s arguments come together easily, as if constructing complicated defenses and attacks were singularly simple for his well-honed mind. The more he wrote on a subject and the more intricate his reasoning, the more clear that subject became; his elaboration is all function and no filler. Wrestling with Trilling’s challenging work still yields rewards today, his ideas speaking to issues that transcend decades and even centuries.

 

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THE MORAL OBLIGATION TO BE INTELLIGENT: Selected Essays

Gebruikersrecensie  - Kirkus

Returns to print 32 tough-minded discourses, written from 1938 to 1975, from one of American literature's most exacting cultural critics. Positioning Trilling (1905-75) for unfamiliar readers, editor ... Volledige review lezen

The moral obligation to be intelligent: selected essays

Gebruikersrecensie  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Trilling (1905-74) epitomized the idea of the 1950s New York intellectual. In opposition to the prevailing theories of the New Critics, he adopted a broader approach: the study of the interconnections ... Volledige review lezen

Geselecteerde pagina's

Inhoudsopgave

The America of John Dos Passos
3
Hemingway and His Critics
11
TS Eliots Politics
21
The Immorality Ode
33
Kipling
62
Reality in America
71
Art and Neurosis
87
Manners Morals and the Novel
105
Isaac Babel
311
The Morality of Inertia
331
That Smile of Parmenides Made Me Think
340
The Last Lover
354
A Cultural Episode
372
On the Teaching of Modern Literature
381
The LeavisSnow Controversy
402
The Fate of Pleasure
427

The Kinsey Report
120
Huckleberry Finn
137
The Princess Casamassima
149
Wordsworth and the Rabbis
178
William Dean Howells and the Roots of Modern Taste
203
Keats in His Letters
224
George Orwell and the Politics of Truth
259
The Situation of the American Intellectual at the Present Time
275
Mansfield Park
292
James Joyce in His Letters
450
Mind in the Modern World
477
Art Will and Necessity
501
Why We Read Jane Austen
517
Appendixes
537
Bibliographical Notes
557
Index
561
Copyright

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Over de auteur (2008)

Lionel Trilling (1905?75) is the author of the collections Beyond Culture, The Liberal Imagination, and the posthumously published Speaking of Literature and Society. He was a professor at Columbia University.

Leon Wieseltier is the editor of The New Republic and lives in New York City.

Bibliografische gegevens