ASPECTS OF THE NEW YORK INTELLECTUAL SCENE / Vol. 32, No. 2 (Summer 1965)
In between 1934 and 1961, the dates of these two editions of Webster’s Dictionary, derision has ceased to surround words like intellectual and intelligentsia, the lexicographers have recorded significant shifts in connotation and an interesting confirmation of the alleged new respectability of intellectual activity. But both definitions, especially the second, contain another point of interest: the stress upon identity of intellectuals as a class… Members of a class recognize one another and they tend to be identifiable by individuals who belong to other classes. How then do individuals in New York’s intellectual community identify one another?
Three years ago we set out to study the vanguard painter and sculptor in his natural American habitat, that is to say, in certain parts of New York City. We thought it important, even urgent, to enlarge our understanding of the social and psychological situations of artists at a critical moment in their history and our own. In modern society, art has become the special preserve of increasingly esoteric practitioners, and a small audience of aficionados constitutes their primary public. For the remaining large majority of the populace the mass media supply a steady flow of deadening “sham” art, in which spurious manipulation of symbol evokes fragmentary pseud-esthetic responses.
It is not yet a decade since Jack Kerouac’s first saga of the Beat Generation, On The Road, was published, since Allen Ginsberg howled, and Norman Mailer pulled the White Negro out of the literary hat -thereby making of the latest activities of American bohemia a best-seller topic. The lame-duck years that followed, before the New Frontier beckoned, when society was still presumed affluent and poverty had not yet been officially discovered, were then enlivened and agitated by what seemed on occasion of endless stream of reports, articles, essays, photo spreads, novels, short stories, and news stories concerning the life style, habitat, customs, mores, meaning and significance of that apostolic pair, the Beatnik and the Hipster. Today, though tourists and teenagers still clog the Village streets in search of the evidence of their passage, the original acolytes have all but vanished from the scene.
Research in the political contexts of artistic style consists largely of impressionistic attributions of aspects of style to characteristics of political structure and behavior. However, a critical systemization of some of the existing material yields a reasonably consistent series of testable hypotheses for future research.
If one examines recent developments in European philosophy of sciences, immediately two main trends will be seen as having come to the fore: the first trend, divided into various currents or schools which differ from one another more in their method of procedure than in their basic outlook, is traceable to the philosophy of the Viennese school, while the other trend, similarly divided into various schools, has its starting point in Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology.
Review of book by Iring Fetscher. Neuwied: Hermann Luchterhand Verlag, 1960. 313 pp.
Review of book by Hugh Dalziel Duncan. New York: The Bedminster Press, 1962. 475 pp.
Review of book by Geraldi. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1963. 180 pp.
Review of book by Alphons Silbermann. Translated by Cobert Stewart. New York: The Humanitas Press, International Library of Sociology and Social Reconstruction, 1963. 216 pp.
Review of book by Pitirim A. Sorokin.New Haven: College and University Press, 1964. 208 pp.
Review of book by Murray Edelman. Urbana, IL.: University of Illinois Press, 1964. 201 pp.
Review of book by William Petersen. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1964. 350 pp.
Review of Book by Murray Yanowitch. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1964. 530 pp.
Review of book by K. V. G. Gowda. Mysore: Rao and Raghavan, 1962. 205 pp.