A Novel, 3 volumes London: Printed for the author by C.
He is always aware, to use one of his phrases, of the cost of civilization. He knows the price of glory and the price of equity; that the price of one may be the expense of the other; that the two are incompatible; and that both prices must be paid. He knows; or at any rate he knows that he does not know.
I suppose that if he accepted this language at all, he would allow that this knowledge represents the Human price; and he might go on that this is why he has cut down on tykish impulses and wild insights, why he insists on using a mind never entirely his own.
He has always wanted a pattern, whether a set or a current, a pattern of relevant ideas as a vantage from which to take care of his occasional commitments. When he can find the current he will swim in it, when he cannot he will accept the set; in either case they will be the ideas which seem to be the furniture of the American liberal imagination; and in either case he tries to make these ideas the tools of positive reaction and response.
He does not ask the question in so many words, but his book asks it: What on earth else is the American mind to do in the effort to control the understanding of that new thing in history, the mass urban society?
What else can be done in a society committed to universal education which yet at every level distrusts the intellect? One of the alternatives is to call Mr. Lewis has done, the New Stoicism [see excerpt above]…. Stoicism is a confession of failure and in our society the confession of failure is a howling success.
Trilling does not confess failure; it is one of the freakish qualities of his mind that he does not make any confessions at all. More formally, I do not believe that Mr.
Trilling makes virtue the highest good in any practicable sense; nor does he concentrate on ethics and the control of passions; nor is he indifferent to pleasure and pain; nor does he blot himself out in favor of self-control.
He wants only to control what is there; he finds special forms of reality in the quarrel of pleasure and pain; he finds passion a source of thought and the overestimation of virtue a tragic impulse. These are very different matters, and whatever they may be called they ought not to be called stoicism.
Nor does he grin and bear it in the Boy Scout adulteration of stoicism. His fortitude, which he shares with the stoic, and most other forms of surviving life, is of a very different order; his fortitude may cut his gains along with his losses out of obstinacy in particulars or weakness in sensibility, but so does any fortitude that rests on choice.
He has the fortitude, in his essays, to act by choice as a public res publica mind.
It is his business to take a position, to react and to respond, between incommensurable forces. He is an administrator of the affairs of the mind. He is everywhere against the passive as he is against escape into the long view or aggression into the moral view. It is the difference between saying that the job cannot be done and saying that the job must be done over again at the cost of any insurrection and any initiative.
It may be that to hold such notions and be without the power of anything but critical action is to be a stoic in fact. Trilling it is an aspect of what he calls moral realism; it is a very different thing from the stoicism which Henry Adams used to call moral suicide.A wide-ranging consideration on the matter of sincerity and authenticity.
Trilling is at home not only in the field of literature, but in much of Western thought – see, for example, his interesting discussions on Hegel and Freud. Lionel Trilling (?75) is the author of the collections Beyond Culture, The Liberal Imagination, and the posthumously published Speaking of Literature and Society.
He was a professor at Columbia University.5/5(1). Beyond Culture: Essays on Literature and Learning [Lionel Trilling] on ashio-midori.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
In his tradition, Lionel Trilling takes the reader into the hearts and minds of some of the most well known literary figures and their worksAuthor: Lionel Trilling. This essay is a sequel of sorts to an earlier blog post essay I wrote a few years ago, introducing Edward Said’s concept of Orientalism for students as well as general readers.
I do not know if this post will prove to be as useful, in part because these concepts are considerably more difficult to explain. Jane Austen.
December 16, July 18, Nationality: British; English Birth Date: December 16, Death Date: July 18, Genre(s): FICTION; NOVELS Table of Contents: Biographical and Critical Essay Northanger Abbey. Oct 25, · Trilling, Lionel. Beyond Culture: Essays on Literature and Learning.
Wald, (argues Trilling) sincerity became the central aspect of moral life (first observed in pre- Age of Enlightenment literature such as the works of Shakespeare), later to be replaced by authenticity (in the more recent centuries).
is a professor of English and.