Sunday, April 12, 2009

And you should see how I hold a fork

In The New York Times, Calvin Trillin speculates on whether he is "an uncultured oaf."


  1. Great piece; thanks for the link. I suppose it's a matter of defining acceptable "culture," isn't it? I mean, the pop culture of the past is high culture today. So maybe those who aren't hip to American Idol history will be uncultured in a hundred and fifty years.

  2. J.D.,
    The other issue is the sheer mass of cultural material available today. If I start listing off the authors I've never read a word from (let's just start with Proust and Austen) I'll eventually be embarrassed. I suppose if you lived in Europe in 1200 (and were lucky enough to go to University and learn Latin, then have leisure time) you could read just about everything available to you on a wide variety of topics. That's impossible today--I think no matter how cultured you are, if you live to be 100 there will be serious, relevant, important cultural material that you're basically unfamiliar with.