Stories By 'Pankaj Mishra'
A wounded identity geopolitics puts the world in grave danger
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As the consequences of “fake news” sink in and a Twitter troll becomes the most powerful man on earth, one cannot but resist Janet Malcolm’s contention.
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In 1969, after a demoralising evening with some proto-neocons, Alfred Kazin wrote in his journal, “They are all such specialists, such knowers on a limited scale.” Kazin, loyal to an older ideal of the public intellectual as outsider, was appalled when writers and critics turned into a service class for politicians and businessmen. Intellectual life has degraded further under the auspices of specialisation since the 1960s.
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Ezra Pound keenly wished to partake of the modern age, which he saw as a summation of previous epochs, and it is easy to see him succumbing to a fetish of novelty that was commonplace among his peers.
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