Essays On Entertainment And Society How To Assign Ip
That group or class proceeds to exercise its idea of culture on society as a whole, with the elites — the educated and artists, in Eliot’s ideal arrangement — leveraging their access to the media and academia to influence the tastes of the average citizen, and of the next generation too.As for what forms the individual, it’s the family, and the family, in turn, is formed by the church: “It is in Christianity that our arts have developed,” Eliot writes; “it is in Christianity that the laws of Europe have — until recently — been rooted.”“Until recently” refers to the year of Eliot’s essay’s publication: 1943.After all, to be an Amazonian chief is to be a legend to your tribe alone, but to be a famous Latin American novelist is to be paparazzied for your foibles.About a week before “Notes on the Death of Culture” was published, Vargas Llosa left his wife of 50 years for Isabel Preysler, a Filipino-born Spanish socialite, model and former beauty queen known as the Pearl of Manila, and as the ex-wife of Julio Iglesias. magazine carried the “exclusive” story, rife with intimate photographs and quotations (the relationship “is going very well,” according to the novelist).My favorite headline read: “Enrique Iglesias’ Mom Just Broke Up the Marriage of Nobel Winner Mario Vargas Llosa, 79.” Since the scandal broke, his numbers have been up, in English and in Spanish, on the only Amazon that people seem to care about.
“Notes” begins with a survey of the literature of cultural decline, focusing on Eliot’s “Notes Toward the Definition of Culture,” before degenerating into a series of squibs — on Islam, the Internet, the pre-eminence of sex over eroticism and the spread of the yellow press — most of which began as columns in the Spanish newspaper El País.
Anyway, I noted that the qualifier was misleading: Though T. Eliot had taken British citizenship, he had been born in America.
The editor, then, sent on another suggestion: “the American-born English poet T. Eliot.” I, having lost all the patience I had as a 24-year-old, replied by modifying that tag to: “the American-born, British-citizen English-language poet, essayist, dramatist, teacher, publisher and bank teller Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965),” after which the editor finally got the point and canceled the assignment.
This commendable philosophy has had the undesired effect of trivializing and cheapening cultural life, justifying superficial form and content in works on the grounds of fulfilling a civic duty to reach the greatest number.”But Vargas Llosa doesn’t stop at that. people usually play sports at the expense of, and instead of, intellectual pursuits”; “Today, the mass consumption of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, crack, heroin, etc., is a response to a social environment that pushes men and women towards quick and easy pleasure.”Even if Vargas Llosa is correct, there’s a difference between being correct and being stylish. I take no joy in kicking an old man when he’s down.
Later in this essay he notes: “It is not surprising therefore that the most representative literature of our times is ‘light,’ easy literature, which, without any sense of shame, sets out to be — as its primary and almost exclusive objective — entertaining.” And if you need more to file under the Grumpy Old Novelists rubric: “Chefs and fashion designers now enjoy the prominence that before was given to scientists”; “The vacuum left by the disappearance of criticism has been filled, imperceptibly, by advertising”; “Today . The psychology’s too obvious, applicable equally to a novelist as to a reader: To complain about the death of culture is to complain about dying yourself. I’d rather reread his earlier books, and remember how his character Zavalita expressed rage — expressed Vargas Llosa’s previously productive rage — in “Conversation in the Cathedral”: “He was like Peru, Zavalita was,” Vargas Llosa wrote there, because Peru and Zavalita had both screwed up (though he uses a stronger expression) “somewhere along the line.”But where? Vargas Llosa’s novels have never hesitated to traffic in the same high-low blend he now bemoans.
All of which is to say that Vargas Llosa’s cranky, hasty manifesto is made of the very stuff it criticizes: journalism.