Culture Crash: From Dialogue to the Cloisters

Another review of Culture Crash from William Giraldi in The New Republic:

American individualism has come to resemble a kind of hermitism, each artist before his own effulgent machine, without taut lifelines to his fellow strivers and makers. The roiling and reciprocal group, so central to the early achievements of Lowell and Plath and Sexton, has been replaced by synthetic socializing online, or by the cloistered academic department, which is how many artists in America, if they’re the lucky ones, are able to remain in the middle class. But when you’re an artist in academia, you’re only a part-time artist, at best. We’ve fled our public places of reciprocity and dialogue, and jettisoned any commitment to a joint culture. “For culture to work, we need a common language,” Timberg writes, “and it’s impossible to have one when we are becoming more culturally and economically divided every day.”

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