Meaning of Culture

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* Book: John Cowper Powys, "Le Sens de la Culture".


Michel Bauwens, 2003:

A beautifully written book which captured my attention.

It's central theme seems to be: what does it mean to be a cultured individual ? What does culture mean ?

He starts by distinguishing it from mere education, which is not 'lived experience'. Real culture is a weapon for the defeated, helping them to endure defeat, or even better, to turn it into victory. Real culture comes from "living through" the interior lives of our predecessors, resulting in finding a "common core" of humanity. It leads to a very idiosyncratic vision of life, which helps to mediate the challenges of life.

Concerning literature (ch 2), he shows how a reader will interpret daily reality with many more layers of meaning, since he has absorbed within himself the imaginations of many more great artists, and any scene can trigger a chain of associations.