Winter 1940 • Vol. II No. 1 Book Reviews |

Literature and Its Rivals

In Defense of Letters by Georges Duhamel. Greystone Press. $2.75Documentary Film by Paul Rotha. W. W. Norton. $3.75 "Our system of culture is founded on printing.” With this incontestable statement M. Duhamel begins his book designed to uphold that system of culture which, in his view, depends on the vitality of literature. Since the Renaissance the effort of culture has been to conquer illiteracy. The extension of the democratic process added impetus to the movement. It is clear that the vote implies intelligence and information on the part of the electorate, and accordingly throughout all the 19th Century the campaign of the liberals for the extension of the suffrage was accompanied by a vigorous effort to render the voters literate. In Western Europe and the United States an immense reading public was called into being, and to this public literature became a religion. Indeed, there grew up a superstition in regard to the printed word, which accounted for the enormous authori

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The Posthumous Wolfe

By Joseph Sagmaster

In Defense of Letters by Georges Duhamel. Greystone Press. $2.75Documentary Film by Paul Rotha. W. W. Norton. $3.75 "Our system of culture is founded on printing.” With this incontestable statement […]

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