The Intellectuals and the Masses: Pride and Prejudices among the Literary Intelligentsia, 1880-1939

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9780571169269: The Intellectuals and the Masses: Pride and Prejudices among the Literary Intelligentsia, 1880-1939
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Professor John Carey shows how early twentieth-century intellectuals imagined the 'masses' as semi-human swarms, drugged by popular newspapers and cinema, and ripe for extermination. Exposing the revulsion from common humanity in George Bernard Shaw, Ezra Pound, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, W. B. Yeats and other canonized writers, he relates this to the cult of the Nietzschean Superman, which found its ultimate exponent in Hitler. Carey's assault on the founders of modern culture caused consternation throughout the artistic and academic establishments when it was first published in 1992.

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About the Author:

John Carey is an Emeritus Professor at Oxford University. His books include studies of Donne, Dickens and Thackeray, The Intellectuals and the Masses, What Good Are the Arts?and a life of William Golding. He is also the editor of The Faber Book of Reportage, The Faber Book of Science and The Faber Book of Utopias.

From Kirkus Reviews:

The obscurities of modern art and literature, according to Carey (English/Oxford; John Donne, 1981), were devised by the intelligentsia to exclude the new reading public for whom they had contempt--a thesis that Carey applies here to, among others, George Gissing, H.G. Wells, Arnold Bennett, and Wyndham Lewis. Nietzsche, Yeats, Shaw, Flaubert, Ibsen, Ortega y Gasset, E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce--indeed the entire modernist movement, says Carey, depicted the ``masses'' and the popular culture they generated with disdain. These writers, the author contends, worshiped the lofty, isolated, high-minded artist who produced an alienating art without human or narrative content to which the masses could relate. Followers of Freud, the intelligentsia feared crowds and condemned their suburban refuges as culturally impoverished ecological disasters. Gissing concluded that the masses were ineducable, while Wells considered them manifestations of a ``biological catastrophe.'' Meanwhile, Bennett, the ``hero'' of Carey's study, believed that the people could be redeemed through the study of literature, although Wyndham Lewis- -whom Carey compares to Hitler--felt that the democracy they believed in was effeminate. The author attempts to demonstrate how Mein Kampf was firmly rooted in the intelligentsia's orthodoxy--and how the incineration of Jews was an extension of it. Members of The intelligentsia, he says, believed that they formed a natural aristocracy united by an esoteric body of knowledge that protected them from the herd. Concluding with a chilling analogy, Carey suggests that the influence and style of the turn-of-the-century intelligentsia survives in the obfuscations of contemporary criticism. Provocative, courageous, certainly stimulating--and reflecting a profound understanding of the often invisible yet potentially insidious relationship between aesthetics and politics, as well as of how art can be used to camouflage the most repugnant ideas. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 1992. Paperback. Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. Professor John Carey shows how early twentieth-century intellectuals imagined the masses as semi-human swarms, drugged by popular newspapers and cinema, and ripe for extermination. Exposing the revulsion from common humanity in George Bernard Shaw, Ezra Pound, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, W. B. Yeats and other canonized writers, he relates this to the cult of the Nietzschean Superman, which found its ultimate exponent in Hitler. Carey s assault on the founders of modern culture caused consternation throughout the artistic and academic establishments when it was first published in 1992. Seller Inventory # AA99780571169269

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Book Description FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 1992. Paperback. Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. Professor John Carey shows how early twentieth-century intellectuals imagined the masses as semi-human swarms, drugged by popular newspapers and cinema, and ripe for extermination. Exposing the revulsion from common humanity in George Bernard Shaw, Ezra Pound, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, W. B. Yeats and other canonized writers, he relates this to the cult of the Nietzschean Superman, which found its ultimate exponent in Hitler. Carey s assault on the founders of modern culture caused consternation throughout the artistic and academic establishments when it was first published in 1992. Seller Inventory # AA99780571169269

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Book Description Faber & Faber, 1992. Condition: New. 1992. Paperback. Professor Carey's frontal assault on the principles and practices of literary modernism caused an immediate critical storm, establishing itself as a key text for all future discussion of the subject. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: 3JH; 3JJ; DSA; JFSC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 19. Weight in Grams: 212. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780571169269

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