Trenchant and Turgid

Trenchant and Turgid

Long-time readers of the New Yorker may recall cartoon-style ads for the now-defunct Philadelphia Bulletin. An odd little man in a crowd points in horror at some impending disaster while all around him remain oblivious, absorbed in the Bulletin. There is a similar quality of urgent and unheeded warning in certain radical critiques of bourgeois society. The task of the left is, in part, to awaken the popular conscience to outrageous social conditions; the vast majority are deaf to such wake-up calls. A difference, however, is that the very subtlety and sophistication of the radical vision often undermine its message, while the sources of outrage remain invisible to all but their immediate victims and critics.

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima