The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent: Selected Essays

The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent: Selected Essays
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  • ISBN-13: 9780810124882
  • ISBN: 0810124882
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press


Trilling, Lionel, Wieseltier, Leon


Bringing together the thoughts of one of American literature's sharpest cultural critics, this compendium will open the eyes of a whole new audience to the work of Lionel Trilling. Trilling was a strenuous thinker who was proud to think "too much." As an intellectual he did not spare his own kind, and though he did not consider himself a rationalist, he was grounded in the world. This collection features 32 of Trilling's essays on a range of topics, from Jane Austen to George Orwell and from the Kinsey Report toLolita. Also included are Trilling's seminal essays "Art and Neurosis" and "Manners, Morals, and the Novel." Many of the pieces made their initial appearances in periodicals such asThe Partisan ReviewandCommentary; most were later reprinted in essay collections. This new gathering of his writings demonstrates again Trilling's patient, thorough style. Considering "the problems of life"in art, literature, culture, and intellectual lifewas, to him, a vital occupation, even if he did not expect to get anything as simple or encouraging as "answers." The intellectual journey was the true goal. No matter the subject, Trilling's arguments come together easily, as if constructing complicated defenses and attacks were singularly simple for his well-honed mind. The more he wrote on a subject and the more intricate his reasoning, the more clear that subject became; his elaboration is all function and no filler. Wrestling with Trilling's challenging work still yields rewards today, his ideas speaking to issues that transcend decades and even centuries.Trilling, Lionel is the author of 'The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent: Selected Essays', published 2008 under ISBN 9780810124882 and ISBN 0810124882.

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