Latest Issue

Myths and morals: a conversation with Edward Mendelson

How eight mid-century American writers tried to shape the culture

By Jonathan Derbyshire  

In 1975, Saul Bellow published an essay entitled “Starting Out in Chicago”. His subject was the distance between the “din of politics,” the sheer amount of “noise” generated by the culture, and the “quiet zone” of contemplation that, he believed, was the condition of genuine thought. “The enemy,” Bellow wrote, “is noise. By noise I mean not simply the noise of technology, the noise of money or advertising and promotion, the noise of the media, the noise of miseducation, but the…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect