Saturday, October 22, 2011

Of two minds ...

... at least: Lionel Trilling in His Labyrinth by Michael Knox Beran - City Journal. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Épater le bourgeois art, Trilling suggests, becomes itself conventional, and often does little more than replace an established and possibly even wise complacency with a new and foolish one. Trilling had in mind especially the avant-garde equation of madness with a higher lucidity that became fashionable in the 1950s and 1960s, the belief that insanity is “health” and psychosis “liberation and authenticity.” Who “that has spoken, or tried to speak with a psychotic friend,” Trilling asked, “will consent to betray the masked pain of [the friend’s] bewilderment and solitude by making it the paradigm of liberation from the imprisoning falsehoods of an alienated social reality?”

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