Reading and thought by dwight macdonald

If we have come to question this pattern, before we can find any new roads, we must first reject the magnificent system which Marx elaborated on its basis. A break with a whole cultural tradition is involved, and Marxism looms up as the last and greatest systematic defense of that tradition. Today, history no longer absolves Fidel. The disintegration of the Marxist project has left the Left exhausted.

Reading and thought by dwight macdonald

Macdonald was one of two sons born to Dwight Macdonalda lawyer, and Alice Hedges, a homemaker. He had an elite education, graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy in and receiving a B. He wrote for Yale's newspaper and literary magazine and edited its humor magazine.

Macdonald then went to work as a staff writer for Fortune magazine. The more he studied and wrote about capitalism, the less he liked it, and he began associating with political radicals, including Nancy Rodman, whom he married in The couple had two sons.

Macdonald left Fortune in and the following year became editor of the revived Partisan Review. In Macdonald's revulsion with the political system in the United States led him to examine the communism of the Soviet Unionbut he soon found the regime of Josef Stalin equally offensive.

He considered a number of political alternatives, including Trotskyism and pacifism, the latter of which inspired him to burn his draft card in He eventually described himself with the seemingly self-contradictory phrase "conservative anarchist.

He then started his own magazine, Politics, which was published until From then on he wrote articles and columns, most notably for The New Yorker, for which he was a staff writer from toand Esquire, for which he wrote film reviews and later a political column in the s. At the same time, Macdonald became known as something of a lifestyle radical, holding nude parties at his home as early as the late s.

Magazine Editor and Writer

He had a number of extramarital affairs, which eventually strained his marriage. In he and Nancy divorced, and he married Gloria Lanier, with whom he remained for the rest of his life.

Although his political views changed over the years, Macdonald remained true to the ideals of high literary culture he had absorbed at Yale. This was highlighted in his well-known essay "Masscult and Midcult," which appeared in two parts in Partisan Review in Perhaps harking back to his days in radical politics, where the bitterest feuds were often with those of fairly similar views, Macdonald claimed that the greatest foe of high culture was not the mass culture that more or less admitted its trashiness he praised Zane Gray as an example ; rather, the danger came from what he called "midcult," writing that seemingly aimed for high literary goals but fell far short.

In this category he listed Nobel laureates Pearl S. Buck and John Steinbeckas well as such popular favorites as Irwin Shaw and Herman Wouk, charging them with sentimentality and middle-class nostalgia.

Reading and thought by dwight macdonald

He insisted, however, that his literary elitism was compatible with political democracy. In the same vein Macdonald published "The String Untuned," a savage review of Webster's Third International Dictionary and its efforts to report popular usage of words instead of trying to set standards, in The New Yorker in In the same year, "Masscult and Midcult" and "The String Untuned" were published in a collection, Against the American Grain, in which the theme was further addressed by sharp-edged dissections of two midcult favorites, James Gould Cozzens and Colin Wilson.

Macdonald's dry wit was notable, as when he said of the novel that brought Cozzens fame and fortune, "By Love Possessed has enriched my vocabulary, or, more precisely, added to it.

Kennedythus leading to the creation of the War on Poverty program. Macdonald remained dubious about the government.

He was horrified by the Cuban Missile Crisis and the way he believed Kennedy had brought the world to the brink of atomic war. He rejoiced at Lyndon Johnson's victory over Barry Goldwater in the presidential election, then watched in dismay Johnson's escalation of the hostilities in Vietnam.

In the White House invited about four hundred intellectuals, including Macdonald, to a festival of the arts. The poet Robert Lowell declined, as a way of stating his opposition to the administration's policy on Vietnam.

After some consideration Macdonald decided to attend the festival, but he issued a statement insisting that his presence was not to be treated as approval of the war and solicited signatures for an antiwar petition from his fellow invitees he received seven.

From then on Macdonald was a committed opponent of the war, appearing at the March on the Pentagon and other protests.Dwight Macdonald (March 24, – December 19, ) was an American writer, editor, film critic, social critic, philosopher, and political radical.

Reading and Though In Dwight MacDonald’s Reading and Though, he disagrees with Henry Luce’s Idea of functional curiosity. Luce coined the term “functional curiosity,” meaning “the kind of searching, hungry interest in what is happening everywhere.”. Dwight Macdonald (March 24, – December 19, ) was an American writer, editor, film critic, social critic, philosopher, and political radical.

Reading And Thought By Dwight Macdonald. article written by Dwight MacDonald, “Reading and Thought,” MacDonald disagrees with Henry Luce idea of functional curiosity. Luce invented the term “ functional curiosity,” meaning “kind of searching, hungry interest in what is happening everywhere” ().

Oct 04,  · reading and thought dwight macdonald Essays & Research Papers Macdonald Triad | | MacDonald Triad Brian Perry – G CJ Victimology 04 OCT Abstract The Macdonald triad, also known as the triad of sociopathy is a set of three behavioral characteristics which are associated with sociopathic behavior.

Reading And Thought By Dwight Macdonald article written by Dwight MacDonald, “ Reading and Thought,” MacDonald disagrees with Henry Luce idea of functional curiosity.

Luce invented the term “ functional curiosity,” meaning “kind of searching, hungry interest in what is happening everywhere” ().

Dwight Macdonald - Wikipedia