Download e-book for kindle: Arts of Living: Reinventing the Humanities for the by Kurt Spellmeyer

By Kurt Spellmeyer

ISBN-10: 0791456471

ISBN-13: 9780791456477

ISBN-10: 1417500891

ISBN-13: 9781417500895

Argues that better schooling must abandon the "culture wars" if it hopes to deal with the foremost crises of the century.

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Additional info for Arts of Living: Reinventing the Humanities for the Twenty-First Century

Sample text

Despite his reputation as a voice of the West, his A Son of the Middle Border closes with a growing sense of disappointment about the future, a future he beheld with his own eyes at the Chicago Exposition’s “Magic City” where he taken his parents at the end of their lives as exhausted, unsuccessful pioneers: Stunned by the majesty of the vision, my mother sat in her chair, visioning it all yet comprehending little of its meaning. Her life had been spent among homely small things, and these gorgeous scenes dazzled her, overwhelmed her, letting [everything] in upon her in one mighty flood.

But the value of Longfellow as knowledge in the modern cultural economy derived from his relative transience. Longfellow was “in” but he would soon, predictably, be “out,” just as French philosophers like Derrida and Foucault were in a few years ago and are on their way out today. A person might, in fact, come to Longfellow’s work so belatedly that an appreciation would make her cultural poverty more obvious. And if the new economy of knowledge created a division between those who had knowledge and those who did not, it brought about another unexpected split that Austin recognized with remarkable clarity: Into the widening gap .

50 In his migration from obscurity to national prominence, and from the prairie to the northeast, Garland drifted with the currents of social and economic power. And the knowledge he acquired along the way was a distinctly cosmopolitan knowledge—systematic and universalizing. Like millions of working-class Americans, he had been deeply moved by reading Henry George’s populist polemic Progress and Poverty. But the books that Garland valued the most once he had found his “calling” as a writer were the ones that promised to explain what he called “the laws which govern literary development”—the laws governing the evolution of literary forms and subjects.

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Arts of Living: Reinventing the Humanities for the Twenty-First Century by Kurt Spellmeyer


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