By George M. Marsden
Within the aftermath of global battle II, the USA stood at a precipice. The forces of modernity unleashed through the conflict had resulted in stunning advances in everyday life, yet know-how and mass tradition additionally threatened to erode the country's conventional ethical personality. As award-winning historian George M. Marsden explains in The Twilight of the yankee Enlightenment, postwar american citizens seemed to the country's secular, liberal elites for assistance during this precarious time, yet those intellectuals proved not able to articulate a coherent universal reason through which the USA may well chart its path. Their failure misplaced them the religion in their components, paving the best way for a Christian revival that provided the USA an organization new ethical vision—one rooted within the Protestant values of the founders.
A groundbreaking reappraisal of the country's religious reawakening, The Twilight of the yankee Enlightenment exhibits how the US stumbled on new goal on the sunrise of the chilly conflict.
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Additional info for The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief
Writing degree zero and history The main issue Barthes raises in Writing Degree Zero still remains perplexing: its historical argument. Given the lack of ﬁtting examples, how are we to understand the historical dimension of exhausted writing? What are Barthes’s reasons for promoting the literary practice of weakening denotation, suspending meaning, and neutralizing the force of dialectics? If Barthes favors literary tools that devitalize language, immobilize the rejuvenation of the dialectical struggle between meaning and its absence, and circumvent the emancipatory role of literature, what does this preference tell us about the historical place of these tools and of literature that uses them?
Writing degree zero and the novel Even though Writing Degree Zero was immediately hailed as a major contribution to the study of narrative discourse, it was not planned as a genealogical treatise. 3 We can only speculate what led Barthes to this shift of emphasis, which conﬁned the parts covering The Stranger to only a very small portion of the ﬁnal volume, but the genealogical argument proposed in Writing Degree Zero suggests that the originality of The Stranger as a prototype of writing degree zero becomes apparent only when seen vis-à-vis the novel and against the background of its development as a genre.
What is worth noting is the fact that Barthes never abandoned his search for a blank mode of writing and the type of aesthetic that does not create myths, and that this search remained an underlying tenet of many of his subsequent works. ”25 These texts turn to movie stills and photographic images because, unlike literary narratives that are destined to struggle with referentiality because they use language that is closely tied to its practical function, ﬁlm and photography are better equipped to suspend the ever-present and recurring instance of meaning.
The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief by George M. Marsden