In the past, culture was a kind of vital consciousness that constantly rejuvenated and revivified everyday reality. Now it is largely a mechanism of distraction and entertainment. Notes on the Death of Culture is an examination and indictment of this transformation - penned by none other than the Nobel winner Mario Vargas Llosa, who is not only one of our finest novelists but one of the keenest social critics at work today.
Taking his cues from T. S. Eliot - whose treatise Notes Towards the Definition of Culture is a touchstone precisely because the culture Eliot aimed to describe has since vanished - Vargas Llosa traces a decline whose ill effects have only just begun to be felt. He mourns, in particular, the figure of the intellectual: for most of the twentieth century, men and women of letters drove political, aesthetic, and moral conversations; today they have all but disappeared from public debate.
But Vargas Llosa stubbornly refuses to fade into the background. He is not content to merely sign a petition; he will not bite his tongue. A necessary provocateur, here vividly translated by John King, provides an impassioned and essential critique of our time and culture.
Publisher: Faber & Faber ISBN: 9780571300549 Number of pages: 240 Weight: 381 g Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 23 mm Edition: Main
Mario Vargas Llosa
Born in Arequipa Peru’s second largest city in 1936, author, playwright, politician and essayist Mario Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America’s most prestigious and prolific writers. Vargas Llosa spent his childhood variously in in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Piura - a city in the north of Peru - before moving to Lima as a young man. His university education coincided with the rise of the dictator Manuel Odría and his observation of that period influenced the early novels which brought him to public attention, including The Time of the Hero, The Green House and Conversation in the Cathedral. Often deeply personal, the influence of his own family life can be seen in novels such as Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter and In Praise of the Stepmother.
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