Janan Ganesh on ‘the guardians of the New Prurience’, American Writer comments

The reader might just ask: what was Mr. Ganesh’s latest feuilleton about? The staff at The Financial Times photo archive, could only find a 1967 Getty photo, that looked like a relic from the ‘Swinging Sixties’: recall Antonioni’s Blowup? A very young David Hemmings, camera in hand, cavorts with two giggly bikini clad models? That would have been part of a photo essay, that might have appeared in Look magazine. Life would have carefully staged a shoot of a ‘Happening‘ produced by Allen Kaprow. And the model wouldn’t have looked so much like Raquel Welsh in One Million Years B.C., circa 1966!
The New Prurience‘ is that like ‘50 is the new 40′? it kind of reeks of Helen Gurley Brown’s Cosmo Magazine, circa 1965, after her Best Seller ‘Sex and the Single Girl’, which was a Madison Ave. reply to Betty Friedan’s 1963 Feminist tract The Feminine Mystique?
Though Mr. Ganesh festoons his essay with references from Philip Larkin: Read his ‘Required Writing: Miscellaneous Pieces 1955-1982’ to find out that Larkin thought Charlie Parker a psychotic, who was destroying ‘Jazz’! ‘The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.’ by Adelle Waldman, and reactionary lush Michel Houellebecq as pioneer: the Françoise Sagan, not the Sartre, of 21st Century French literary decadence?
Mr. Ganesh manufactures his own political opportunities, for naming and shaming the amorphous enemies of respectable bourgeois existence, those nihilists like Russel Brand. Except that he now preaches sobriety as a way of life, not to speak of respect for others.

American Writer



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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