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 at the present time, intellectuals of all faculties shared a trust that human nature was once below risk.

The instant outcome was once a glut of dense, summary books at the nature of guy. however the dawning age of the challenge of guy, as Mark Greif calls it, used to be way over a historic interest. during this bold highbrow and literary historical past, Greif recovers this misplaced line of proposal to teach the way it inspired society, politics, and tradition prior to, in the course of, and lengthy after global conflict II. in the course of the Thirties and Nineteen 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 historical past.

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

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