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Ancient Cultures of Deceit: British University Fiction in the Post-War Years


reviewed by Sheldon Rothblatt 1992

coverTitle: Ancient Cultures of Deceit: British University Fiction in the Post-War Years
Author(s): Ian Carter
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: 0415031540, Pages: , Year:
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As a genre, the university novel has roots in the nineteenth century, but as a widely practiced literary form, it belongs essentially to the century now closing. Its visibility reflects the expansion of the contemporary higher education world and its central position in urban, professional, scientific, and technical civilization. Ian Carter has read at least 196 of the post-1945 university novels and knows of many more, to include the earliest forms. His broadest conclusions are easily summarized. The British genre is heavily influenced by that famous Victorian man of letters Matthew Arnold. But (as many have found) Arnold’s writings are deeply ambivalent. There are actually two Arnolds. The first is the “liberal” Arnold who favors the dissemination of “culture” through expanded opportunities for schooling and looks forward to the day when an informed democratic citizenry will acquire mastery of state and society. This is “leftist Arnold.” The second is a pessimistic... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 94 Number 1, 1992, p. 188-190
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 188, Date Accessed: 10/21/2017 7:25:04 PM

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