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Jonathan Miller: return of the polymath

Mark Irving talks to Jonathan Miller

By Mark Irving   February 1996

Jonathan Miller is a British cultural icon, his speciality is in traversing borders-between the arts and sciences, between high culture and mass culture, between the UK, the US and continental Europe. It is often said that he is despised or ignored in his own country. As an archetypal, almost caricature intellectual, he has attracted his share of sneers. The specialists whose disciplines he invades like to point out that Miller the generalist cannot read a musical score, perform brain surgery, and so on. What he can do is talk, better than almost anyone in the UK. For all his operatic…

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