Friday, March 26, 2010

Economics and Literature: A Tribute and Celebration

Paul Cantor is a vital member of the world's Austrian community because he links the rest of us back to culture and civilisation and stops us getting too obsessed with 'pure' economics.

In this enlightening speech, discussing amongst many things the spontaneous order of creativity, Mr Cantor holds forth on the Victorian novel, the evolution of modern soap operas, the development of Shakespearean plays, and on why it is always the market which generates the leading wave of successful culture change. As a side-point, he also discusses why so many members of the self-proclaimed 'cultural elite' see themselves as Marxists, plus the phenomena of why the very best novels are usually written in an 'unplanned' way, in which authors let their characters drive the narrative, a process first 'invented' by Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, or in which audiences determine the way a novel develops, as with Dickens and his serialised novels which made this free-trader so much money.

Anyway, that's enough from me. Let's turn to Mr Cantor himself, to hear why Dickens wasn't a socialist, but was really a 'Proto Manchester Liberal' instead.

BTW, there are some long introductions on this video. Go through to 11:00 minutes, which is when Mr Cantor finally makes it onto the stage:

Silverlight link

1 comment:

Paul said...

I like this blog, Jack always leaves out enough information to give me an opportunity and play the wise old... something.

In this case a must hear ten-lecture course by Paul Cantor. It is one of the most interesting and different audio materials there is on Most illuminating!