Tag: mass culture

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Freshman English. Or So Says the NYT.

Ever since I read Dwight Macdonald’s essay “Masscult and Midcult”—in Andrew Ross’s excellent undergraduate seminar on intellectuals and popular culture, which formed the basis for his equally excellent book No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture—I’ve known better than to complain about the literary tastes of the mainstream media. But this list (h/t Michael Busch) of what the staff at the New York Times Magazine considers to be “the best fiction of all time” brought me up short. It’s not just that the staffers had a lengthy debate as to which was better:  Lolita or The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (Nabokov v. Chabon?  Really?)  Nor is it that they were debating which of these two books is the finest novel […]