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The Betrayal of the Intellectuals , though it was written nearly thirty years ago, remains the most important work of a prolific writer--a philosopher who has been opposed to most of the fashionable trends in literature and politics, and is still today a solitary and embittered representative of values that are neither shallowly progressive nor obtusely reactionary.
In order to appreciate his significance it is necessary to give a general account of his position in French criticism and to trace the development of his ideas leading up to The Betrayal of the Intellectuals. Benda, who is a Jew by birth b. Then came a long silence. His next book appeared in in the famous series of pamphlets known as Les Cahiers de la Quinzaine.
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Legge Equinox, Read preview Overview. Ondaatje University of Pennsylvania Press, African Studies Review, Vol. The Review of Metaphysics, Vol.
When hatred of culture becomes itself a part of culture, the life of the mind loses all meaning. Today we are trying to spread knowledge everywhere. Who knows if in centuries to come there will not be universities for re-establishing our former ignorance? I n , the French essayist Julien Benda published his famous attack on the intellectual corruption of the age, La Trahison des clercs. For today, in the United States anyway, only the title of the book, not its argument, enjoys much currency. Academics and journalists, pundits, moralists, and pontificators of all varieties are in this sense clercs. The English translation, The Treason of the Intellectuals , 1 sums it up neatly.
The Treason of the Intellectuals
Julien Benda 26 December — 7 June was a French philosopher and novelist, known as an essayist and cultural critic. Born into a Jewish family in Paris, Benda had a secular upbringing. His father's death in left Benda independently wealthy. His articles on the Dreyfus affair were collected and published as Dialogues.