Notes on the Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society

Category: Book
Translated By: King, John
By (author): Vargas Llosa, Mario
Subject:  LITERARY CRITICISM / General
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Picador
Published: August 2016
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 8.25in x 5.50in

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A provocative essay collection that finds the Nobel laureate taking on the decline of intellectual life In the past, culture was a kind of vital consciousness that constantly rejuvenated and revivified everyday reality. Now it is largely a mechanism of distraction and entertainment. Notes on the Death of Culture is an examination and indictment of this transformation - penned by none other than Mario Vargas Llosa, who is not only one of our finest novelists but one of the keenest social critics at work today. Taking his cues from T. S. Eliot - whose essay Notes Toward a Definition of Culture" is a touchstone precisely because the culture Eliot aimed to describe has since vanished - Vargas Llosa traces a decline whose ill effects have only just begun to be felt. He mourns, in particular, the figure of the intellectual: for most of the twentieth century, men and women of letters drove political, aesthetic, and moral conversations; today they have all but disappeared from public debate. But Vargas Llosa stubbornly refuses to fade into the background. He is not content to merely sign a petition; he will not bite his tongue. A necessary gadfly, the Nobel laureate Vargas Llosa, here vividly translated by John King, provides a tough but essential critique of our time and culture. "
Review Quote*A provocative essay collection on the fast decline of intellectual life, and one that manages the dual feat of shedding light while spreading gloom… And yet towards the end of these intelligent, penetrative, rigorous, but sporadically mournful essays we can detect a glimmer of hope.- The New Criterion "Required reading for any serious observer of arts and letters."- Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Of a piece with late writings by Hilton Kramer, Hugh Kenner, and even Steiner… [this book] offer[s] fresh interpretations and sharp criticisms of things as they are."- Kirkus Reviews
Biographical NoteMario Vargas Llosa is Peru's foremost author and the winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1994 he was awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's most distinguished literary honor, and in 1995 he won the Jerusalem Prize. His many distinguished works include The Storyteller , The Feast of the Goat , Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter , Death in the Andes , In Praise of the Stepmother , The Bad Girl , Conversation in the Cathedral , The Way to Paradise , and The War of the End of the World . He lives in London. John King edited From Oslo to Jerusalem from I. B. Tauris.