Two cultures and polemics : Snow, Leavis, Williams

Do love a good controversy, and the exercise of polemic, its rhetorical animus, its spitting performativity. The so-much it illustrates, as elegance gets a back seat.

The Two Cultures and the classic sandwich : Snow, Leavis, Snow. With some historiographic insight and contextualisation by Stefan Collini, as fine as ever, and also not exhaustive – some missing lines where suggestion (some in literary history among others) can roam pleasingly.

At a time when Raymond Willams was shaping the new terrain of cultural studies. When does the Royal Society actually decide on the exclusion of social sciences from its purview? Snow notes the fact and act, without the detail.

The so-much I learned from Wyndham Lewis, initiation. And TE Hulme. A decisive turn in critical apprenticeship. I remember the ethical, deep-cultural effort, and the surprise of a research effort that was not, in this my first experience, an epistemological one only. A nice, and innocence-leaving, crash of décloisonnement.


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