Winter 1959 • Vol. XXI No. 1 NonfictionJanuary 1, 1959 |

The Logos in the Catacomb: The Role of the Intellectual

One of the resources of the American intellectual abroad is to meditate on the uses of the American intellectual at home, with the result that he questions a little whether he has any uses at all and tends to wish he could remain abroad where, in most countries, he would at least be accepted as a member of the intellectual proletariat without ceasing to be an intellectual. What becomes clear is, that if the American intellectual at home is in general ill repute it is possibly because his society has not for a long time assigned him any roles to play as such or given him any place to sit in, neither an ivory cellar nor an ivory attic nor any flights of stairs between. None of the politics of his society has any use for him and none of them will publicly put up with his support. He has only the chance of being a pure intellectual, and at his own expense, which is the last expense he can afford. He is expected always to be somebody else. He can be a writer, an artist, a professor, a sc

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