Monday, February 18, 2013

A Curtain Call for Culture?

If loss can be pregnant with meaning, the recent death of historian Jacques Barzun assuredly was. It portended, as Ben Zimmer, Boston Globe language columnist, noted, "the passing of a classically informed view of language as a barometer of human nature" and of one of the English language's most committed defenders. And that barely scratches our presentiment of loss. The departure of one who so brilliantly embodied the "richest and best in the much abused word 'culture' seemed to mark the end of an era," Wilfred McCay writes in the University Bookman, "a curtain-lowering that left us without the promise of any encore." Hope or Despair? Roger Kimball and the Future of Culture

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