It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
The battle of the book: the research library today
by Eric Ormsby
The second in a series titled “The survival of culture”
was right!Support The
In seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England and France a boisterous debate, traditionally known as the “Battle of the Books,” raged for many decades. The issue at stake was one of style: should we accept the “Antients” (to use Jonathan Swift’s spelling) as our models and exemplars in matters literary, given their immemorial legacy of acutely expressive prose and verse, or should we rather forge a “Modern” style and manner befitting our own age and its peculiar requirements and contingencies? Charles Perrault in France in the 1695 preface to his Contes sided resolutely with the moderns, and this on moral grounds: the ancient fables taught a destructive morality. Interestingly enough, he singled out the pernicious effects of certain misogynistic classical tales on young girls’ moral nature and declared: “I maintain that my fables deserve more to be related than most of the ancient tales &he ...
This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 20 October 2001, on page 4
Copyright © 2015 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/The-battle-of-the-book--the-research-library-today-2110
E-mail to friend
by Eric Ormsby
Traditional philology today is a shadow of what it once was. Can it survive?
Updike began and ended his career with poetry. More than his other writings, Updike's verse provides the clearest picture of who he is.
Donald Stoker's new book on Clausewitz helps dissect Clausewitz's complicated legacy.
The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"