"Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the meaning and value of culture in the twenty-first century. In a programme recorded in front of an audience at Newcastle's Literary and Philosophical Society, Melvyn and the panel consider whether Matthew Arnold's assessment of culture as 'the great help out of our present difficulties' still has any relevance, almost 150 years after it was written."
(Melvyn Bragg, 2013)
"The Value of Culture: Two Cultures", Radio broadcast, Episode 5 of 5, Duration: 42 minutes, First broadcast: Friday 04 January 2013, Presenter/Melvyn Bragg, Producer/Thomas Morris for the BBC Radio 4, UK.
Photo credit: J. Russell, Strobel Lab, Yale University 2009
"Melvyn Bragg considers the 150-year history of the Two Cultures debate. In 1959 the novelist C.P. Snow delivered a lecture in Cambridge suggesting that intellectual life had become divided into two separate cultures: the arts and the humanities. The lecture is still celebrated for the furore it provoked - but Snow was returning to a battleground almost a century old. Melvyn Bragg visits the old Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, scene of many of modern science's greatest triumphs, to put the Two Cultures debate in its historical context - and Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, reveals the influence the Two Cultures debate had on his development as a scientist."
(Melvyn Bragg, 2013)
"The Value of Culture: Two Cultures", Radio broadcast, Episode 3 of 5, Duration: 42 minutes, First broadcast: Wednesday 02 January 2013, Presenter/Melvyn Bragg, Producer/Thomas Morris for the BBC Radio 4, UK.
"Melvyn Bragg presents the first in a series of programmes examining the idea of culture and its evolution over the last 150 years. In 1869 the poet and critic Matthew Arnold published Culture and Anarchy, a series of essays in which he argued passionately that culture - 'the best which has been thought and said' - was a powerful force for good. In this first programme Melvyn Bragg visits the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, where Arnold first unveiled his ideas on the subject, and discovers how Arnold's ideas were refined and rejected by later thinkers."
(Melvyn Bragg, 2012)
Matthew Arnold (1869). "Culture and Anarchy: An Essay in Political and Social Criticism" [http://www.authorama.com/book/culture-and-anarchy.html].
"The Value of Culture: Culture and Anarchy", Radio broadcast, Episode 1 of 5, Duration: 42 minutes, First broadcast: Monday 31 December 2012, Presenter/Melvyn Bragg, Producer/Thomas Morris for the BBC Radio 4, UK.
"A preface provides a way into understanding a book: by stating its subject and scope, by commenting on techniques employed or themes addressed, or by focussing on a central or contentious issue. Prefacing involves an explicatory introduction to a reading of a work.
Some writers are more prone to prefacing than others. In the last century, three great exponents of the preface have been Graham Greene, Vladimir Nabokov and John Barth. Greene's prefaces are usually succinct, genuinely concerned with aspects of the writing process, and sometimes wryly humorous. ...
The idea of exegesis is not a recent imposition of universities upon creative writing; it is a long-term and also current feature of our overall culture. For almost two thousand years (as long as the word 'exegesis' can be backtracked in its significance) people have asked for explanations that linked written works produced in the culture to main concerns of the culture. Partly this has been a low culture plea to high culture. Partly it has been an element of ongoing high culture debate over contentious issues. 'Tell me further what you mean - analyse and dissect and orientate - so that I can more fully understand and believe you,' the culture has asked of texts on the one hand. But also it has said: 'Tell me further what you mean, so that I can better argue with you.' These are, I think, the two arms of the nature of exegesis."
Krauth, N. (2002). "The Preface as Exegesis." TEXT 6(1).
"Murakami's subsequent conceptualisation of superflatness links the flat picture planes of traditional Japanese paintings and present-day manga and anime, to the perceived lack of historical distinction between high and low cultures at this locale. At the same time, he believes that post-war conditions in Japan acted as key determinants for the subsequent use and symbolic function of pictorial superflatness in Japanese cultural production. Specific to his concerns are the infantilising effects of Japan's Constitution that has kept it a pacifist country. Superflat may indeed be read as one index of post-war kawaii (cute) culture. Anne Allison traces the rise and fetishisation of cute goods and consumptive pleasures in the 1970s and 80s. She argues that: 'Cuteness became not only a commodity but also equated with consumption itself - the pursuit of something that dislodges the heaviness and constraints of (productive) life. In consuming cuteness, one has the yearning to be comforted and soothed: a yearning that many researchers and designers of play in Japan trace to a nostalgia for experiences in a child's past' (Allison, A. 'Portable Monsters and Commodity Cuteness: Pokemon as Japan's New Global Power,' in Postcolonial Studies, vol. 6, no. 3 (2003), pp. 381-395.)."
(Dean Chan, Australia)