Fall 1962 • Vol. XXIV No. 4 Department KR: A Section of Briefer CommentOctober 1, 1962 |

A Literary Defense of “The Two Cultures”

It is now nearly three years since C. P. Snow delivered the Rede Lecture that was afterward published under the title of The Two Cultures. F. R. Leavis' recent attack on it, and on Snow himself, owes some of its popular success to that lapse of time; during those three years a fierce irritation has gathered among "intellectuals" (people who teach, or would in America teach, at a university, let's say) at the publicity given to Snow's thesis. This irritation is to be found among scientists as well as among humanists: there is no name to equal Snow's as a signal, at an intellectual party, for every guest to sharpen his malice and begin a co-operative denigration. And yet—quite apart from the nastiness of this behavior—there has been no answering of his thesis. Dr. Leavis' Richmond Lecture offers the best chance so far to continue (or rather to begin) the debate. Dr. Leavis' attack is concentrated on the author's personality, manner, and tone. He claims that these form a contex

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