Tag Archives: City Journal
The sub-title ”The Western cult of happiness’ is a mirthless enterprise’, in the City Journal caught my attention; partly because the French author Pascal Bruckner belongs to a nation which, according to a Gallup Poll, are the world’s most gloomy, and partly because the UK government tried to measure the nations happiness. The French may indeed be ‘gloomy’ but that doesn’t necessarily make them ‘Les Misérables’. On the other hand the British may indeed be Les Misérables but not necessarily gloomy. Perhaps, both nations would regard the European national anthem ‘Ode to Joy’ , a paean to spiritual joy, as an allusion to some form of earthly happiness, now muted as being a goal of European social policy that requires political intervention. At least that’s one of the propositions put forward in the ‘First European Quality of Life Survey: Life Satisfaction, happiness and sense of belonging’. This would seem to give credence to Pascal Bruckner’s proposition that joy is no longer an option.
Stefan Kanfer writing in City Journal- Gribbenizing Finn, claims that a valuable new verb has entered the English language with the exit of a noun from a classic novel.
He writes that Alan Gribben, a member of the English faculty at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama, has been called a Mark Twain scholar by no less an authority than Entertainment Weekly. It’s in that role that this learned teacher joins with the great censors of the past.
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