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Sincerity and Authenticity (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0674808614 ISBN-10: 0674808614

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Product Details

  • Series: The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures (Book 2004)
  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (January 31, 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674808614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674808614
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A beautifully written book, its tone admirably judged and perfectly sustained…It is wide fastidious and deeply thoughtful in its range of reference, Temperate, controlled and delicately scrupulous, it is a tribute if ever there was one to the "honest consciousness." (Times Literary Supplement)

About the Author

At the time of his death in 1975, Lionel Trilling was University Professor at Columbia University.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book, based on lectures he gave at Harvard in 1970, is delight. Trilling draws a fine but deep distinction between two conceptions of selfhood. Sincerity, or being true to yourself with an eye to being true to others, was the dominant concern of Renaissance and early modern thought and literature, from Shakespeare to Rousseau. Beginning with Wordsworth, gaining momentum throughout the 19th century, and finally emerging with full force in the 20th, though, there is a new, more morally demanding ideal of being what or who one is, apart from all external conditions. Trilling's discussion wanders about quite freely, but his observations about literature and ideas are always brilliant and refreshing. Highly recommended.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter S. Oliphant, Ph.D. on February 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sincerity is a 16th-Century word that expressed the concept that people who live a moral life must be responsible. Neoclassic literary characters, such as Moliere's artificial, deceitful villains. Such literature condemned exhibition of the self and promoted 'authenticity,' a strenuous moral qualification.

Art began both to celebrate and to criticize the moral order in the Romantic Movement. Jane Austin satirized Emma's priggishness. Flaubert displayed Mme. Bovary's artificial life. Sartre closed Huis Clos with 'Hell is other people.'

Sincerity depended on acceptance of the class structure in England. When acceptance of class superiority began to decay in the Industrial Revolution, organicism and mechanism offered new bases for authenticity -- 'at least natural science is real,' one might say.

The unconscious, for example, became a basis of authenticity because it has an organic basis. In this vein, Freud's Civilization and its Discontents and The Future of an Illusion portrayed culture as repressive superego. Similarly, R. D. Laing and Herbert Marcuse portrayed the psychotic as the bewildered victim of alienating social reality.
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0 of 18 people found the following review helpful By joeyterick on October 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great service. Thank you. would buy again. If you want a challenging read to boost the intellect, Lionel Trilling is yor man.
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