“Mankind, which in Homer’s time was an object of contemplation for the Olympian gods, is now one for itself. Its self-alienation has reached such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as aesthetic pleasure of the first order.” — Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction.”
(Via Freddie deBoer, quoted by someone in this blog’s comments)
One of you recommended that I read Turgenev’s “Fathers And Sons.” I found the Constance Garnett translation for free on iBooks. It’s fantastic. This Walter Benjamin remark made me think of the character Bazarov. It also made me think of about 90 percent of contemporary American popular culture.