Against the American Grain

PDF EBook by Dwight Macdonald

EBook Description

Dwight Macdonald focuses on the American pursuit of culture & download; its ambiguous results. Against the American Grain PDF EBook The usual approach to mass culture has been sociological; Macdonald turns to the subject as a man of letters. "I am concerned not so much with the dead sea of masscult," he writes, "as with the life of the tide line where the decisive struggles for survival take place between higher & lower organisms." In trying to level down the best, Macdonald argues, our democratic society has usually succeeded in leveling up the worst, so that high & low culture merge in a swampy middleground where 2nd- PDFrate writers are acclaimed as geniuses, 1st-rate writers retreat into private worlds & the language itself begins to decompose. Against the American Grain ranges over many topics: new versions of the Bible; the careers of such heroes & victims of modern culture as Mark Twain, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway & James Agee; the national obsession with facts & how-to-do-it books; the 50 volumes of Great Books of the Western World; the new unabridged dictionary; the superiority of English "amateur journalism" to our own professionalized & compartmentalized kind; the sudden inflation & subsequent deflation of such highbrow best sellers as By Love Possessed & The Outsider; & the decline of the English language. It's a conservative & in some ways reactionary book whose thesis may be summed up in its author's words: "A people which loses contact with its past becomes culturally psychotic." It brings together the major essays that Dwight Macdonald wrote from 1952-62. Like this book? Read online this: The American dictionary of the English language , Against the Anthropological Grain.

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