Monday, February 16, 2015

What's Wrong With Public Intellectuals?

The Chronicle of Higher Education
February 15th, 2015

For years, the undigitized gem of American journals had been Partisan Review. Last year its guardians finally brought it online. Some of its mystery has been preserved, insofar as its format remains hard to use, awkward, and hopeless for searches. Even in its new digital form it retains a slightly superior pose.
The great importance of Partisan Review did not arise recently from its inaccessibility. The legendary items that first ran in its pages can be found in any good library, in collections by contributors who met as promising unknowns: Mary McCarthy, Clement Greenberg, Hannah Arendt, Saul Bellow, Elizabeth Hardwick, Leslie Fiedler, or Susan Sontag. Alongside those novices, PR had the cream of Europe, in translation or English original: Sartre, Camus, Jean Genet, Beauvoir; Ernst J√ľnger, Karl Jaspers, Gottfried Benn; plus T.S. Eliot, Orwell, Auden, Stephen Spender.

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