By Stefan Collini
A richly textured paintings of background and a strong contribution to modern cultural debate, Absent Minds presents the 1st full-length account of "he query of intellectuals" n twentieth-century Britain--have such figures ever existed, have they continually been extra well-known or influential in other places, and are they on the brink of changing into extinct at the present time?
Recovering overlooked or misunderstood traditions of mirrored image and debate from the overdue 19th century via to the current, Stefan Collini demanding situations the wide-spread cliché that there aren't any "real" intellectuals in Britain. The booklet deals a persuasive research of the idea that of 'the highbrow' and an in depth comparative account of ways this question has been noticeable within the united states, France, and in different places in Europe. There are unique discussions of influential or revealing figures reminiscent of Julien Benda, T. S. Eliot, George Orwell, and Edward acknowledged, in addition to trenchant evaluations of present assumptions in regards to the impression of specialization and superstar. all through, recognition is paid to the a number of senses of the time period "intellectuals" and to the good variety of correct genres and media wherein they've got communicated their principles, from pamphlets and periodical essays to public lectures and radio talks.
Elegantly written and carefully argued, Absent Minds is a tremendous, long-awaited paintings through a number one highbrow historian and cultural commentator, ranging around the traditional divides among educational disciplines and mixing insightful photographs of people with sharp-edged cultural analysis.
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A richly textured paintings of background and a strong contribution to modern cultural debate, Absent Minds presents the 1st full-length account of "he query of intellectuals" n twentieth-century Britain--have such figures ever existed, have they continually been extra renowned or influential in different places, and are they on the brink of turning into extinct at the present time?
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Extra info for Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain
H. Hardy saying to him in the 1930s: ‘Have you noticed how the word “intellectual” is used nowadays? ’⁶⁵ Hardy’s implicit exasperation with the level of attention accorded a few young poets is understandable, though it would have been interesting to know what he thought the ‘old’ deﬁnition had been. This principally literary connotation was long-lived: it seems, for example, to hover over a remark about the decline in the belief in progress made in 1964 by J. H. Plumb (coincidentally, or not, a close friend of Snow’s since the 1930s): ‘Although by the middle of the nineteenth century the idea was .
The idea that in 1909 anyone could be thought to be doing anything either new or untoward by ‘introducing into journalism . . ) The Academy went on to use ‘intellectuals’ several times in the next few lines, with evident relish—‘There can be no doubt that its [sc. ⁴⁴ By the 1910s, the word appeared to be becoming almost fashionable, especially as a way of singling out those of a self-consciously bookish or theoretical disposition. In his 1909 novel Ann Veronica, H. G. ⁴⁶ Virginia Woolf, ur-Schlegel in more than one sense, drew upon the same antithesis when, criticizing a third-rate novel in 1918, she observed: ‘the conventions of the intellectual are at least as sterile as the conventions of the bourgeois’; and in a diary entry for 1922 she reworked this contrast as a piece of self-description: ‘I was 30 The Terms of the Question struck by the bloodlessness of the philistines the other day at the Rectory [in the Sussex village where the Woolfs had their country cottage].
Works of linguistic reference continued to register (some of ) these complexities of meaning and social attitude. Discussing ‘intellectual’ as an adjective, the ﬁrst edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage in 1926 observed: ‘An intellectual person is one in whom the part played by the mind as distinguished from the emotions and perceptions is greater than in the average man. . e. the deﬁnition quoted below at Ch. 5 Sect. I). This was underlined by the entry for the term in Raymond Williams’s (admittedly highly impressionistic) survey Keywords, published in 1976, which concluded that up to at least the middle of the twentieth century ‘unfavourable uses of “intellectuals” .
Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain by Stefan Collini