By Paul Johnson
a desirable portrait of the minds that experience formed the fashionable international. In an fascinating sequence of case experiences, Rousseau, Shelley, Marx, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Bertrand Russell, Brecht, Sartre, Edmund Wilson, Victor Gollancz, Lillian Hellman, Cyril Connolly, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Kenneth Tynan, and Noam Chomsky, between others, are printed as intellectuals either impressive and contradictory, magnetic and unsafe.
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Additional resources for Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky P.S.
The cult of bohemian clothes Rousseau had inaugurated had persisted into the second and third generation of Romantic intellectuals. Byron sported not merely the Levantine or Oriental mode of dress when it suited him, but even in European clothes affected a certain looseness, dispensing with elaborate cravats, leaving his shirt-neck open, even leaving off his coat altogether and wearing shirt-sleeves. This aristocratic disdain for uncomfortable conventions was copied by more plebeian poets like Keats.
37 There were other sacrifices on the altar of Shelley’s ideas. One was Elizabeth Hitchener, a young working-class Sussex woman, the daughter of a smuggler-turned-innkeeper, who by prodigies of effort and sacrifice had become a schoolmistress in Hurstpierpoint. She was known for her radical ideas and Shelley got into correspondence with her. In 1812 Shelley was in Dublin preaching liberty to the Irish, who were unresponsive. Left with a good deal of his subversive material on his hands, he had the bright idea of sending it to Miss Hitchener for distribution in Sussex.
Such control is established by treating citizens, from infancy, as children of the State, trained to ‘consider themselves only in their relationship to the Body of the State’. ‘For being nothing except by it, they will be nothing except for it. ’ The educational process was thus the key to the success of the cultural engineering needed to make the State acceptable and successful; the axis of Rousseau’s ideas was the citizen as child and the State as parent, and he insisted the government should have complete 25 Intellectuals charge of the upbringing of all children.
Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky P.S. by Paul Johnson