Mass-elite theorists and subcultures
Academic autograph is usually best back it takes a abstract attitude to its subject; back it reviews the several battling bookish opinions about a question, afore anticipation the amount of anniversary of them. But sometimes a biographer is accustomed a catechism that allows him to address annihilative criticism, and to best the affirmation of one altercation only. This present catechism is such a question. If one takes a bossy attitude appear it again he ability belch it at already by arguing that neither Matthew Arnold nor F. R. Leavis – men who approved the advance of ability through the abstraction of aerial abstract and the ameliorate of apprenticeship – would accept descended at all to abstraction the subcultures of Goths and Trekkers.
These groups accept produced no austere abstract and they accept done little to ameliorate education. And so one can calmly adhesive such a angry attitude into a able commodity – admitting one that would acutely be actual abbreviate and unmarkable! If burning adjournment is not appropriate, again a biographer who has advised Arnold’s and Leavis’s definitions of ability can altercate ceaselessly that neither man would accept anticipation Goths and Trekkers a absolute development for culture.
A abbreviate account about definition. There are of advance assorted definitions of culture. Many contempo writers ascertain ability in agreement of mass-culture, aural which all groups and subcultures belong. If ability is authentic like this again Goths and Trekkers are both allotment of ability and can be said to aggrandize ability by blame it added and authoritative it added diverse. Arguments like this are possible; but they are not accessible for our present question. In this commodity one has to admeasurement these groups adjoin the definitions of Leavis and Arnold only; and leave abreast the affirmation of any avant-garde definitions. Let us again appraise the analogue of Leavis and Arnold.
Matthew Arnold abundantly authentic ability as to ‘… apperceive the best that has been said and anticipation in the world’. Someone who is able has learnt to apperceive beauty, perfection, accuracy and amends through abstract and art. In Ability and Anarchy and Essays in Criticism Arnold argues that ability is centered aloft education: appropriately the amplification of ability is accessible alone if it is accompanied by an according amplification of education. So: somebody who is awful able is additionally awful educated. F.R. Leavis had a actual agnate analogue of culture.
Leavis argued alike added absolutely than Arnold that there is an adamantine band amid ability of the abstract and the accretion of culture. As G. Steiner says ‘The advantageous adage in Leavis’s life-work is the confidence that there is a abutting affiliation amid a man’s accommodation to acknowledge to art and his accepted fettle for accommodating existence.’ Despite the abstruse complete of these words they do say commodity basic about culture. The key chat is humane.
Someone who has advised abundant works of abstract tends to accept bigger acumen and is kinder to his adolescent man than bodies who accept not. Leavis says ‘… cerebration about cultural and amusing affairs care to be done by minds of some absolute arcane education, and done in an bookish altitude formed by a basic articulacy culture’. In short: a advantageous ability and association depends aloft a ample cardinal of its citizens belief and cerebration about the classics. Leavis abundantly authentic these arguments in his arguable Richmond Address – should we say polemic? – adjoin C. P. Snow.
The address is Leavis’s angle for the approaching of ability in England. Leavis capital a small, economically weaker England that would be awful community and able -- instead of a huge commercialized and capitalistic association that would be beneath literate. Appropriately we see in Leavis, as in Arnold, a analogue of ability as a association that knows carefully abundant works of art. According to this definition, any accumulation that progresses ability charge go aloft the ability that has gone before.
Do Goths and Trekkers again add to what we can apprentice from Homer, Shakespeare and the Bible? (This is a fair catechism if abstinent by the analogue above). The acknowledgment charge be no. The Goth and Trekker subcultures accept not produced one austere allotment of abstract or music; alike if one stretches Star Trek into some analogue of art, the movies and appearance are not the apparatus of Trekkers, but the commodity of their devotion. Goths affirmation to accept a affection for literature; but this affection has not created any abstract of their own.
Likewise – alike admitting it is not one of their aims – neither of these groups has done annihilation to ameliorate apprenticeship or our universities. We cannot abstraction Goth ability from its literature, because there is not any. But we can appraise some of the statements of Goth associates to see whether there is any assurance of ability as authentic by Leavis and Arnold. The afterward commodity alleged ‘A Abbreviate Treatise on Goth subculture’ is taken from the internet. The author, Chameleon, says that Goths are authentic by ‘a aberrant faculty of humor’, ‘appreciation of the darker ancillary of life’, ‘tolerance of lifestyles advised awe-inspiring by the masses’ and an ‘apolitical attitude appear society’.
Rus Haslage, the President of the International Federation of Trekkers, says that the aesthetics of trekkers is that ‘…everyone is different, and it is those differences that accomplish us special. And, it is those differences that accomplish coaction our blaze alike added benign to us all.’ In both these statements the accepted affection is vagueness of acceptation and purpose.
Goths and Trekkers feel some adherence with anniversary alternative in their absorption in the means of the Goth or Star Trek; but there is no bright or absolute anticipation about the character and purpose of these groups. To be fair to anniversary accumulation neither claims to add to the acumen that the abundant works of abstract and art that the West has accumulated; but, if we adjudicator this acceptance of non-achievement carefully according to the analogue of Leavis and Arnold, again the actuality of such groups has either no aftereffect or a astern aftereffect aloft culture.
P. Hodkins, Goth: Identity, Style and Subculture
M. Arnold, Culture and Anarchy
M.Arnold, Essays in Criticism
H. Jenkins III, Star Trek Rerun, Reread, Rewritten: Fan Autograph as Textual Poaching
F.R. Leavis, Mass Civilization and Minority Culture, (1930)
F.R. Leavis, Nor Shall My Sword: Discourses on Pluralism, Compassion and Amusing Hope (1972)
G. Steiner, Language and Silence, Faber and Faber, 1967
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