Date of publication: 2017-08-27 08:03
Prior to this the only market for formal culture, as distinguished from folk culture, had been among those who, in addition to being able to read and write, could command the leisure and comfort that always goes hand in hand with cultivation of some sort. This until then had been inextricably associated with literacy. But with the introduction of universal literacy, the ability to read and write became almost a minor skill like driving a car, and it no longer served to distinguish an individual's cultural inclinations, since it was no longer the exclusive concomitant of refined tastes.
Kitsch's enormous profits are a source of temptation to the avant-garde itself, and its members have not always resisted this temptation. Ambitious writers and artists will modify their work under the pressure of kitsch, if they do not succumb to it entirely. And then those puzzling borderline cases appear, such as the popular novelist, Simenon, in France, and Steinbeck in this country. The net result is always to the detriment of true culture in any case.
Browning aspires to redefine the aesthetic. The rough language of his poems often matches the personalities of his speakers. Browning uses colloquialisms, inarticulate sounds (like &ldquo Grr&rdquo ), and rough meter to portray inner conflict and to show characters living in the real world. In his earlier poems this kind of speech often accompanies patterned rhyme schemes &ldquo My Last Duchess,&rdquo for example, uses rhymed couplets. The disjunction between form and content or form and language suggests some of the conflict being described in the poems, whether the conflict is between two moral contentions or is a conflict between aesthetics and ethics as systems. Browning&rsquo s rough meters and unpoetic language test a new range for the aesthetic.
Senghor's poems such as "Joal," which captures cultural memories of his childhood and ancestral lands, are interspersed with anti-colonialist rage. Others make an appeal for reconciliation and God's forgiveness for France's dehumanization of blacks through enslavement and colonization. Senghor's influence and example were very important in encouraging African intellectuals to devote themselves to literature, poetry, and the arts.
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London Aesthetics Forum presents Everyday Aesthetic Experience and the Life-World Dan Eugen-Ratiu (Babes-Bolyai) Date 57 Jun 7567, 66:55 to 68:55 Venue Room 796, Second Floor,. Read More
The peasants who settled in the cities as proletariat and petty bourgeois learned to read and write for the sake of efficiency, but they did not win the leisure and comfort necessary for the enjoyment of the city's traditional culture. Losing, nevertheless, their taste for the folk culture whose background was the countryside, and discovering a new capacity for boredom at the same time, the new urban masses set up a pressure on society to provide them with a kind of culture fit for their own consumption. To fill the demand of the new market, a new commodity was devised: ersatz culture, kitsch, destined for those who, insensible to the values of genuine culture, are hungry nevertheless for the diversion that only culture of some sort can provide.
Capitalism in decline finds that whatever of quality it is still capable of producing becomes almost invariably a threat to its own existence. Advances in culture, no less than advances in science and industry, corrode the very society under whose aegis they are made possible. Here, as in every other question today, it becomes necessary to quote Marx word for word. Today we no longer look toward socialism for a new culture -- as inevitably as one will appear, once we do have socialism. Today we look to socialism simply for the preservation of whatever living culture we have right now.
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