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Culture wars

The Jeremiahs of cultural decline are self-serving and wrong

By Jason Cowley   October 2000

Late last summer, I was invited to a Society of Bookmen dinner, a dusty gathering of largely veteran publishers, agents and booksellers who meet once a month at the elegantly dishevelled Savile Club. John Tusa was the guest speaker that evening, and his performance was melancholy. Here was a man who had made a career in several great cultural institutions but on whom a sad twilight was settling-a man out of time. He lamented the impoverishment of Britain’s arts; the disappearance of anything like a common culture; and the triumph of a crude relativism, in which all cultural works were…

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