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Lionel Trilling

“Our culture tends "to regard the mere energy of impulse as being in every mental and moral way equivalent and even superior to defined intention." Instead we should consider "an idea that once was salient in western culture: the idea of "making a life", by which was meant conceiving human existence, one's own or another's, as if it were a work of art upon which one might pass judgment.... This desire to fashion, to shape, a self and a life has all but gone from a contemporary culture whose emphasis, paradoxically enough, is so much on self.”


Lionel Trilling
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