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Old 04-27-2008, 01:48 AM   #10
RWood
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The Eclipse of the Intellectual
by Elemire Zolla (1926-2002)

He was a professor of English and American literature at the University of Rome "La Sapienza".

I first found out about the book in a reference in one of Marshall McLuhan's books (From Cliché to Archetype as I remember.) The English translation was published in the US by Funk & Wagnalls in 1968.

It explores the limiting nature of a society to think that you have choices but only within their constraints. Like a multiple choice test that limits your answers to only the ones provided, society also limits the options available while maintaining the illusion that you are free to choose anything you want.

Another part talks of a viewer of modern art. They criticize the work and then add the ultimate insult by saying "I really don't understand modern art at all." It goes on to explore how and why people condemn what they do not understand or what is not common to them.

This is only a small part of the book (as I remember about one or two chapters.) I read the book in my second year at college/university and it altered my life. I was able to think of things in a new way. I changed my major, changed schools, changed girlfriends, and have been far happier with life since then.

It was an amazing book for me.
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