The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973

The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973

Mark Greif

Publish yr note: First released December twenty first 2014

In a midcentury American cultural episode forgotten this present day, intellectuals of all colleges shared a trust that human nature was once lower than danger.

The instant end result was once a glut of dense, summary books at the nature of guy. however the dawning age of the concern of guy, as Mark Greif calls it, used to be excess of a historic interest. during this bold highbrow and literary heritage, Greif recovers this misplaced line of suggestion to teach the way it encouraged society, politics, and tradition earlier than, in the course of, and lengthy after global battle II. in the course of the Nineteen Thirties and Forties, fears of the barbarization of humanity energized ny intellectuals, Chicago protoconservatives, eu Jewish emigres, and native-born bohemians to hunt re-enlightenment, a brand new philosophical account of human nature and background.

After the battle this attempt subtle, resulting in a rebirth of recent human rights and a brand new strength for the literary arts. Critics' predictions of a loss of life of the unconventional challenged writers to take a position cold questions of human nature with flesh and aspect. Hemingway, Faulkner, and Richard Wright wrote fallacious novels of summary man.Succeeding them, Ralph Ellison, Saul Bellow, Flannery O'Connor, and Thomas Pynchon constituted a brand new shield who demonstrated philosophical questions opposed to social realities--race, spiritual religion, and the increase of technology--that saved distinction and variety alive. by means of the Nineteen Sixties, the assumption of common guy gave strategy to ethical antihumanism, as new sensibilities and social routine reworked what had come earlier than. Greif's reframing of a foundational debate takes us past outdated antagonisms right into a new destiny, and offers a prehistory to the fractures of our personal period.

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