Lionel Trilling and the Critics: Opposing Selves

By John Rodden | Go to book overview

59
“On Lionel Trilling,” The New Yorker
November 1979

Richard Sennett

Richard Sennett (1943—), professor of sociology at New York University, is the author of The Uses of Disorder (1970) and The Fallof Public Man (1977), among other books. He is also the co-author (with Jonathan Cobb) of The Hidden Injuries of Class (1972), which was nominated for the National Book Award in 1973.

A personal acquaintance of Trilling during the 1960s and ’70s, Sennett shared Trilling’s interest in modernity, society, and culture. Like Trilling, Sennett has defended modernist culture and the Enlightenment tradition and expressed strong reservations about postmodernism.

The following memoir was occasioned by the publication of Trilling’s Uniform Edition, which included the reprinting of Sincerity and Authenticity, regarded by Sennett as Trilling’s “greatest, and least appreciated, book.”

Lionel Trilling belonged to a generation of Americans who, in the nineteenthirties, grew up believing that the answer to the horrors of the Depression and of Fascism lay in some kind of revolutionary Socialism. This generation had a difficult time with a deeply held American conviction. In a fine book called “The Imperial Self,” Quentin Anderson has described that conviction as the faith that we are open to all experience and all experience is open to us. We have little sense of limits, Anderson says. If our jobs, communities, marriages constrain us, we move out. Resignation is a quality foreign to the American character. The radicals of the thirties felt the sense of limitlessness of which Anderson writes: the revolution was at hand; the evils of history were about to disappear; the whole character of life could be transformed. Trotsky once called the American radicals “wonderfully naïve.” But history would not let them remain so.

-359-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Lionel Trilling and the Critics: Opposing Selves
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 490

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.