Magazine
Latest Issue

Two Cultures? The Significance of CP Snow

Leavis has important and enduring things to say about the mechanics of intellectual celebrity

By Jonathan Derbyshire   209

Two Cultures? The Significance of CP Snow by FR Leavis (Cambridge University Press, £12.99)

“It is a bad tone, an impermissible tone.” So wrote Lionel Trilling of FR Leavis’s 1962 lecture on CP Snow, reissued this month in a new edition, with an introduction by the historian Stefan Collini. Leavis’s attack on Snow’s celebrated philippic against the ignorance of science displayed by “literary intellectuals” is unsparing. The Two Cultures, Leavis writes, “exhibits an embarrassing vulgarity of style.” And although he protested that his response to Snow contained “no personal animus,” it is…

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 our newsletter, 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.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect