By Sean Gabb
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Additional info for A Libertarian-Conservative Case Against Identity Cards
Eliot articulates his topic by means of a desiring dialectic that pits the classic against the contingent, the racial and national against the international, the absolute against the errant. He espouses a utopian cultural homogeneity as a precondition for the emergence of the classic. ” 33 of taste and common style. A mature literature has a historical trajectory behind it, the history of “an ordered though unconscious progress of a language to realize its own potentialities within its own limitations” (11).
The classic has a style of its own, and is new and inimitable, an invention that is not programmable and must be recognized on its own terms. The style is new without neologism, new and ancient in equal measure, and effortlessly contemporaneous with all ages. The classic renews itself continuously to pose as a perpetual contemporary, “contemporain de tous les âges”: it is a living entity, open to endless intervention in successive acts of reading and interpretation. The idea of a classic, in Sainte-Beuve’s definition, is not restricted to a single work or author, but implies continuity and tradition, and the transmission of tradition.
Has been revised by the drift of English literary history. Cultural identity in the era of cultural-economic globalization, as Said suggests, should be conceived in terms of space rather than time: “Spatiality becomes . . the characteristic of an aesthetic rather than of political domination, as more and more regions—from India to Africa to the Caribbean—challenge the classical empires and their cultures” (Culture and Imperialism, 18). Are there any perennial works or masterpieces in the new geomorphic empire and in world literature, which is not so much a canon of texts as it is a mode of circulation?
A Libertarian-Conservative Case Against Identity Cards by Sean Gabb