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Why serious culture no longer matters

Posted by Richard on June 19, 2005

Aeon J. Skoble at Liberty and Power makes some interesting points about serious culture and middle-class America, prompted by a David Brooks piece in the NY Times on why culture matters less than it did.

Skoble explores two reasons: (1) the rise of relativism; and, (2) the "abdication" of artists and intellectuals, who have made what they do irrelevant and inaccessible.

Pretty much all of what is now classified as great literature was once also popular: from Sophocles to Shakespeare to Jane Austen to Hemingway. Now the highbrows sneer at “airport novels” or “genre fiction,” while the virtually-redundant category “literary fiction” has become the home for highbrow stuff that the middle class doesn’t read – is it because they’re too stupid now, or is it because the “serious” authors write inaccessibly?

Interesting thoughts. Take a look.

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