By Irving Howe, Nina Howe, Morris Dickstein
A Voice nonetheless Heard is vital to the certainty of the passionate and skeptical spirit of this lucid author. The ebook types a bridge among the 2 parallel agencies of tradition and politics. It indicates how politics justifies itself via tradition, and the way the latter activates the previous. Howe’s voice is ever sharp, relentless, frequently scathingly humorous, revealing Howe as that rarest of critics—a actual reader and author, one whose readability of fashion is end result of the his disciplined and candid mind.
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Extra info for A Voice Still Heard: Selected Essays of Irving Howe
It becomes more and more difﬁcult, and will soon be impossible, for a man to make his living as a literary dilettante. . And instead of the professional 22 the 1950s man of letters we have the professional critic, the young don writing in the ﬁrst place for other dons, and only incidentally for that supremely necessary ﬁction, the common reader. ” . . Literary standards are now in academic hands; for the freelance man of letters, who once supplemented and corrected the don, is fast disappearing from the literary scene.
In a review of my Faulkner book—rather favorable, so that no ego wounds prompt what follows—Robert Daniel writes that “Because of Mr. Howe’s connections with . . ” Daniel is surprised that a critic whose politics happen to be radical should try to keep his literary views distinct from his nonliterary ones. To be sure, this is sometimes very difﬁcult, and perhaps no one entirely succeeds. But the one sure way of not succeeding is to write, as Daniel does, from no very pressing awareness that it is a problem for critics who appear in the Sewanee Review quite as much as for those who appear in Partisan Review.
In a recent number of Perspectives Lionel Trilling addressed himself to some of these problems; his perspective is sharply different from mine. Trilling believes that “there is an unmistakable improvement in the American cultural situation of today over that of, say, thirty years ago,” while to me it seems that any comparison between the buoyant free-spirited cultural life of 1923 with the dreariness of 1953, or between their literary achievements, must lead to the conclusion that Trilling is indulging in a pleasant fantasy.
A Voice Still Heard: Selected Essays of Irving Howe by Irving Howe, Nina Howe, Morris Dickstein