Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Culture as refuge

Culture can be a refuge for the outcasts, since it may form a bridge to other outcasts, and it can create a wave length where the isolated individual can feel 'at home', be it ever so abstract:

"As Perloff writes, Vienna’s Jews were passionate about German culture even though, or perhaps because, they were for the most part rejected as members of the German nation:
The alternative to…nationality was the Kulturnation of German Enlightenment culture—the liberal cosmopolitan ethos of Bildung [development], which had its roots in the classical Greek notion of paideia. Bildung was more than “civilization,” since…it was conceived as having a distinct spiritual dimension. Thus the cult of Kultur was gradually transformed into a kind of religion."
From a review of the memoirs of a Jewish refugee from prewar Vienna.

Culture, 'Bildung', as a compensation for being ostracized. In our days, it often looks as the other way around: members of a cultured elite being ostracized because of forming an elite. In a society where the egalitarian world view requires the suppression of anything reminding the masses of their inadequacy, cultured people are 'the enemy' and, in fact, the 'new Jews' for that reason, and to their surprise they find themselves in the company of immigrants and adherents of some religion.



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