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Why Last Chapters Disappoint - Essay - NYTimes.com
"But in the end, most authors have themselves to blame. Having immersed themselves in a subject, almost all succumb to the hubristic idea that they can find new and unique ideas for solving intractable problems. They rarely do, and even works that do usher in specific reforms or broad social transformations — from “The Jungle” to “The Feminine Mystique” — do so by raising awareness about an issue, not by providing ready-to-go blueprints.

Yet solutions seem to be what our national temper demands. “It is one of the peculiar intellectual accompaniments of democracy that the concept of the insoluble becomes unfashionable — nay, almost infamous,” Mencken wrote in “Notes on Democracy” (1926).."
books  review  problems  social  solutions  cliche  publishing  hubris 
march 2011 by tsuomela
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