Howdy, folks. I’m back, and now that football season and finals are over, I’m in need of a new hobby, so I am presenting a new feature. Once a month I will have a post or a series of posts focusing on a book, analyzing and assessing what it means in terms of human liberty and its cultural conditions. It may be a book that I am currently reading, or I might dig an old chestnut out of the archives. They might be fiction or nonfiction, prose or poetry. They may be damned or praised, and most likely there will be much ambivalence.
I believe that books are meant to be discussed and argued over, so please comment!
The whole scope of the essay is to recommend culture as the great help out of our present difficulties; culture being a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world, and, through this knowledge, turning a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits, which we now follow staunchly but mechanically, vainly imagining that there is a virtue in following them staunchly which makes up for the mischief of following them mechanically.
–“Culture and Anarchy”, Matthew Arnold, great-uncle to Aldous Huxley