Modern Thinkers "Hollow"

How do contemporary intellectuals corrupt their calling? "The intellectual life reduces itself to functional nihilism, warding off despair only by means of attacking the latest ideology."

Most contemporary artists have succumbed to the same critical and ideological hollowness as did philosophers and other intellectuals before them. Poets like Eliot and Yeats become all the more important for being the more rare. Unsatisfactory though it may be for such poets of the imagination to become the residual tokens of the quest for truth, the cases of Schumacher and Eliot encourage us to recall that Plato himself, in the Republic, says that poetry — that is, storytelling — is the seed that germinates into the life of reason and virtue. Today’s lyrical tatters may be tomorrow’s hope.

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