Does listening to a live performance of Beethoven's Ninth make you more "cultured" than the person who listens to a state-of-the-art mechanical recording of it at home? Gilbert Adair would argue, persuasively, that it doesn't. In an introductory essay Adair examines the nature of culture in contemporary society, supporting his case with specific examples drawn from his diverse writings on the subject. In arguing that it is today possible to be a completely cultured being without ever leaving home, he attacks such sacred cows as the superiority of live performances over the mechanically reproduced; of the sweaty, crowded exhibition at which you cannot see the pictures over the beautifully printed catalogue; of a literary culture over what might be called a magazine culture. Adair advocates cultural honesty, arguing that in the last years of the 20th century being cultured is about more than just "going out" to the theatre or cinema or concert: it is about being part of a cultural network, a network whose fine mesh he untangles in this seminal work.
Used availability for Gilbert Adair's The Postmodernist Always Rings Twice
September 1992 : UK Hardback