The Intellectuals and the Masses
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Intellectuals and the Masses is a 1992 literary history book by John Carey. In his critique of elitism, John Carey, holds Nietzsche as one of the earliest products of mass culture, because it created him "as its antagonist." The immense popularity of his ideas among early twentieth-century intellectuals suggests the panic that the threat of the masses aroused. W. B. Yeats recommended Nietzsche as "a counteractive to the spread of democratic vulgarity".
The obscurities of modern art and literature, according to Carey, were devised by the intelligentsia to exclude the new reading public for whom they had contempt--a thesis that Carey applies here to, among others, George Gissing, H. G. Wells, Arnold Bennett, and Wyndham Lewis. Nietzsche, Yeats, Shaw, Flaubert, Ibsen, Ortega y Gasset, E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce -- indeed the entire modernist movement, says Carey, depicted the masses and the popular culture they generated with disdain.
- ISBN 0-571-16926-0 The Intellectuals and the Masses (1992) - John Carey