What is culture worth? That a man may know all about Humes and Kant, Marx and Hobbes, Joyce and Frost, Ernst and Magritte, Sontag and Hemingway, will mean nothing to a society that has disdained the value of such knowledge. “Be practical, foolish one, and learn a trade. This ostentation you call culture will lead you nowhere; not at least in this economy.” Oh, how valiantly they cry, as if practicality were the only truth. The cultured people might then say, heavily indignant: “No, it is you who are truly ignorant.” But really, how is the winner decided in this contest where everyone is a judge?


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