Art for the Masses

The Death of Culture & the Culture of Death

by Ralph McInerny

Delmore Schwartz has a memorable line: “In dreams begin responsibilities.” What is true of the individual is true of the culture as well. Imagination is a prelude to action. In this paper I examine the role literature has played in bringing about the Culture of Death. That culture denies that every human life has value and is willing to sacrifice some human lives for the alleged benefit of others. Literature both effects and reflects the transition.

The works of what is called the Western canon were produced in the cultural ambience of Christendom and . . .

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