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Marjorie Garber (1944–) from “Greatness,” Symptoms of Culture (1998)

  • Lee Morrissey

Abstract

“Greatness” as a term is today both an inflated and a deflated currency, shading over into categories of notoriety, transcendence, and some version of the postmodern fifteen minutes of fame. The modern cultural fantasy about heroes and greatness is a symptom of desire and loss: a desire for identifiable and objective standards, and a nostalgia for hierarchy, whether of rank or merit.

Keywords

Great Book Great Idea Great Conversation Prefatory Volume Great Woman 
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Notes

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    Shakespeare, Twelfth Night 2.5.145—146. The Arden Shakespeare, ed. J.M. Lothian and T.W. Craik (London: Methuen, 1975).Google Scholar
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    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (London and New York: Penguin Books, 1985; orig. pub. 1813), p. 96.Google Scholar
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    Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Uses of Great Men,” in Representative Men (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1903).Google Scholar
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    Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, trans. Willard Trask, (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor, 1957), p. 492.Google Scholar
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    Erich Auerbach, “Philology and Weltliteratur,” trans. M. and E.W. Said, Centennial Review, 13 (Winter 1969), p. 17.Google Scholar
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    Mortimer J. Adler, “Reforming Education: The opening of the American Mind,” ed. Geraldine Van Doren (New York: Collier Books, 1988), p. 350.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lee Morrissey 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee Morrissey

There are no affiliations available

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