American Culture and Society since the 1930s by Christopher Brookeman

By Christopher Brookeman

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WB, p. 329). The 'professionals' who will carry out the new critical programme do not include the creative artist whose 'understanding is intuitive' (WB, p. 327), or the philosopher who specialises in general theories rather than 'an acute study of particulars'. The responsibility for carrying out the new programme is on the university teacher of literat ure, but not on the literary historian who spends 'a lifetime in compiling the data of literature and yet rarely or never commits himselfto a literaryjudgement' (WB, p.

From that fatal division of labour ensued the forbidden act of eating the apple of 34 AMERICAN Cl'LTl'RE AND SOCIETY SINCE THE 1930s knowledge which for Ransom represents 'the adoption of a secular attitude; in having unlimited faith in the powers ofhuman science; in regarding nature not romantically but possessively, and as an enemy' (GWT, p. 131). Ransom's pessimistic critique of western society does include a programme that will enable the individual to resist the industrialisation of mind and body that has been consequent on the relentless secularisation and specialisation of the applied sciences.

They did not actually. It is simply a way of saying to the reader, "look very hard - did you ever see waves laughing - try then for yourself' , (GWT, p. 68). Memory becomes a crucial faculty in this process: The myth-maker is a desperate man, for he has a memory. He remembers the remarkable individual in the richness ofhis private existence. He sees very little relation between that individual and FROM SOL:THERN AGRARIANISM TO CRITICISM, INe. 33 the dry generalization into which science would fit hirn.

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