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The hysterical realists may be gifted writers, but they are not able to translate their understanding of the world in a truly literary way, without debasing the form in the name of, for example, macro-microeconomics.
Had your house broken into? Been hustled by some cheeky teenagers? Been harassed by a new law that has made your job twice as hard? Tried to get the police or the courts to come to your rescue and fallen on your face?
Unfortunately, what the report does not make clear is what makes a collection of books important, and this is a salient omission.
From the late nineties on, there has been a marked retreat into the inner world, into childhood and away from dirty, complicated reality.
Frank Furedi’s Therapy Culture is neither an attack on the counselling profession nor on what they dismiss as ‘self-help’ culture, but a critique of our diminished view of humanity.
Some thinkers have always had ethical doubts about the pursuit of knowledge. Today these often take the form of concern about the consequences of technology, for example cloning. But Neiman pares things down to a single, more profound fear. If we understand the world and all its faults, are we then stuck with it? By explaining evil, do we justify it?
Sociologist Frank Furedi’s book exposes the often-bizarre thinking behind the growing practice of counselling.
There has always been a relationship between art and science, but recently it has become fashionable to try combining the two in a single project. The Wellcome Trust has now published a volume reporting on several such collaborations carried out in the last few years.
Although I sympathise with your celebration of humanity’s ability to overcome the worst, through laughter, this wormhole of escapism, I am deeply suspicious of any theory that concludes ‘our wretchedness is our greatness’. Can you really defend this statement?
Since the 1980s, the word ‘identity’ has come to feature in the titles of an increasing number of academic history books. With its radical connotations of subjectivising history, the word ‘identity’ is very much associated with the vocabulary of the postmodern historian.
Following the so-called ‘culture wars’ and the rise of postmodernism, postcolonialism, poststructuralism and various other ‘isms’, it is little wonder that the cultural institutions of Western society are going through something of an identity crisis.