Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

PAPERBACKS

October 23, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

CULTURE OF COMPLAINT: A Passionate Look Into the Heart of America by Robert Hughes (Warner: $10.99; 210 pp.). These controversial discussions of multiculturalism, the role of art in society, the state of the arts in America and the demise of intellectual debate began as lectures at the New York Public Library. Hughes exposes the American cult of victimhood to the withering light of reason, lambasting artists whose output is notable only for its allegedly political and/or therapeutic content. He castigates neolithic conservatives and inept liberals for misrepresenting their beliefs and clouding public discourse with self-serving rhetoric. "Much mud has been stirred up by the linkage of multiculturalism with political correctness. This has turned what ought to be a generous recognition of cultural diversity into a worthless symbolic program, clogged with lumpen-radical jargon. Its offshoot is the rhetoric of cultural separatism." Although the concept has been sadly misrepresented, he argues that true multiculturalism enriches a civilization, as new voices deepen the appreciation of the traditional arts.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|