Leavis begins his extract by making reference to the previous text I also looked into; Culture and Anarchy, by Matthew Arnold. However their opinions, examples and perceptions on culture are likely to differ due to the difference in time which they were written. To an extent I still think this is true today, and therefore I could gather an understanding of what Leavis is trying to explain. I believe that higher social classes are seen to have a higher culture than the majority. I believe that the majority are gaining more power and more of a say over typically high culture organisations such as political parties. Leavis continues to explain the difficulties in defining culture, an issue which is discussed in many of the culture extracts that I have read.
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Wassim : Providing this kind of summery you are serving worldwide readership. I think this is beyond any cogratulatios. Please carry on Wednesday, May 18, A Summary of F.
Leavis says that culture belongs to the minority of society, in where the appreciation of art and literature depends. Cultural conservatism then is still kept with a few small minority, who are capable of endorsing and appreciating such first hand judgment by genuine personal response. Later on, Leavis warns that Culture is at crisis today, where all commonplace is more widely accepted than understood, and the realization of what the crisis portends does not seem to be common.
He included a work of anthropology called "Middletown" where there is in detail how the automobile to take one instance has, in a few years, radically affected religion, broken up the family, and revolutionized social custom. He adds: "Change has been so catastrophic that the generations find it hard to adjust themselves to each other, and parents are helpless to deal with their children". Which means that this example of Middletown refers to America and not to England, and that it's been recognized that such a rapid change has taken place in America in the last decades, and that its effects had been increased by the acceptance of its peoples.
He adds that: "We are being Americanized", in which he later says that the effect applies even more disastrously to the films, because it has so much power and potent influence on the masses. And that the films provide the main form of recreation in the civilized world, in which they involve surrender, under conditions of hypnotic receptivity, to the cheapest emotional appeals, appeals the more insidious because they are associated with "a compellingly vivid illusion of actual life".
Leavis argues that the result may come as a serious damage to the "standard of living". He later mentioned that in today's world, where distractions have come to beset the life of the mind, and that there seems every reason to believe that the average cultivated person of a century ago was a very much competent reader than his modern representative.
He says that today: "the boundaries are gone, and the arts and literatures of different countries and periods have flowed together". Later on, Leavis lightened us with a quote by Mr T. Therefore, "culture" does only belong to the critically adult public, then, is very small indeed: they are a very small minority who are capable of fending for themselves amid the smother of new books.
Concerning the topic, he mentioned that this problem has been quite solved in America by the Book of Month Club, and similar organizations, as well as in England with The Book Society and The Book Guild. Furthermore, he gives an example of the Book Guild's review, where the word "Highbrows" was mentioned, which literally means "an intellectual person". He later says that Shakespeare was not a "high-brow" , because there were no "high-brows" in Shakespeare's time. I quote: "It was possible for Shakespeare to write plays that were at once popular drama and poetry that could be appreciated only by an educated minority".
Later, he gave examples of books such as: "The waster land, Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, Ulysses or To the Lighthouse" and then stated that these words are read only by a very small specialized pubic and are beyond the reach of the vast majority of those who consider themselves educated. The age in which the finest creative talent tends to be employed in works of this kind is the age that has given currency to the term "high-brow". Yet, it would be as true to say that the attitude implicit in "high-brow" causes this use of talent as the converse.
Briefly, Leavis says if it is vain to resist the triumph of machinery, then it is equally vain to console us with the promise of a 'mass culture' that shall be utterly new. It would, no doubt, be possible to argue that such a "mass culture" might be better than the culture we are losing, yet it would be futile: the "utterly new" surrenders everything that can interest us.
Later on, he questions sadly what hope is there to offer? The vague hope that recovery must come. At the end, he advises that: "It is for us to be as aware as possible of what is happening, and, if we can to 'keep open our communication with the future' ".
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Mass civilisation and minority culture – F.R Leavis
Wassim : Providing this kind of summery you are serving worldwide readership. I think this is beyond any cogratulatios. Please carry on Wednesday, May 18, A Summary of F. Leavis says that culture belongs to the minority of society, in where the appreciation of art and literature depends.
The Minority Press
The Minority Press was a short-lived British publishing house founded in by Gordon Fraser — while he was an undergraduate student at St. John's College Cambridge. Fraser was an undergraduate student of F. The Minority Press was essentially the book publishing arm of the Leavis camp of literary criticism. The Press published a series of six pamphlets, several reprint editions with new introductions, and a few longer essays on literary topics.