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Past and Present (The Gotham Library) ePub download

by Richard D. Altick,Thomas Carlyle

  • Author: Richard D. Altick,Thomas Carlyle
  • ISBN: 0814705618
  • ISBN13: 978-0814705612
  • ePub: 1780 kb | FB2: 1220 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Humanities
  • Publisher: New York University Press; Reprint edition (January 1, 1977)
  • Pages: 294
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Votes: 737
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Past and Present (The Gotham Library) ePub download

The timing of this book is superb! . Altick is Regent's Professor of English at The Ohio State University. Past and Present Gotham library of the New York University Press The Gotham library Thomas Carlyle.

The timing of this book is superb! -Karla . Holloway, Duke UniversityThe influence of African American literature can be attributed, in no small part, to the literary theorists gathered in this collection. This is a superb anthology that represents a diversity of voices and points of view, and a much needed historical retrospective of how African American literary theory has developed. Библиографические данные.

Past and Present is a book by Thomas Carlyle. It was published in April 1843 in England and the following month in the United States. It combines medieval history with criticism of 19th-century British society. Carlyle wrote it in seven weeks as a respite from the harassing labor of writing Cromwell. He was inspired by the recently published Chronicles of the Abbey of Saint Edmund's Bury, which had been written by Jocelin of Brakelond at the close of the 12th century.

Past and Present book. The problem Carlyle was one of the most prominent writers and thinkers of the mid 19th century. Paperback, 294 pages. Published October 1st 2000 by New York University Press (first published October 1st 1897). This is a short polemical work he knocked off as a break from a writing a serious history.

Includes bibliographical references.

movies All Video latest This Just In Prelinger Archives Democracy Now! Occupy Wall Street TV NSA Clip Library. by. Carlyle, Thomas, 1795-1881; Altick, Richard Daniel, 1915-. New York : New York University Press. Includes bibliographical references.

Thomas Carlyle PAST AND PRESENT Everyman's Library. Poems of the Past and the Present by Thomas Hardy (English) Paperback Book Free.

Стр. 9 - In the midst of plethoric plenty, the people perish ; with gold walls, and full barns, no man feels himself safe or satisfied. Workers, Master Workers, Unworkers, all men, come to a pause ; stand fixed, and cannot farther. Fatal paralysis spreading inwards, from the extremities, in St. Ives workhouses, in Stockport cellars, through all limbs, as if towards the heart itself.

PAST AND PRESENT First published 1843 THOMAS CARLYLE, born in 1795 at Ecclefechan, the son of a stonemason. Educated at Edinburgh University. Schoolmaster for a short time, but decided on a literary career, visiting Paris and London. Retired in 1828 to Dumfriesshire to write. In 1834 moved to Cheyne Row, Chelsea, and died there in 1881.

Past and Present by Thomas Carlyle (The Gotham Library). This radically deconstructive vision reveals the very highest symbols of belief for what they are - merely symbols.

Past and Present by Thomas Carlyle (The Gotham Library) by Altick, Richard, NE. Postage not specified.

Past and Present by Thomas Carlyle (The Gotham Library) by Altick, Richard, NEW. EUR 2. 8. Altick, Richard . Used; Very Good Book.

On the surface Carlyle’s book ‘Past and Present’ is about the woes of 19th century Industrial England. And yet it is deeper, much deeper. It is also a penetrating and very insightful commentary about the loss of faith in God, of misplaced values and priorities. Carlyle was a great writer, he has the gift and ability of somehow being able to take you back in time. In writing tone and style, the book is a cross (if you can imagine) between John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress and H.L. Mencken’s writings. Human nature hasn’t changed since Carlyle wrote this. It was relevant then; it is just as relevant now. Well worth the read.
Good book!
Carlyle was in his late 40s when he wrote Past and Present. After a long struggle, he had been more or less famous for 5 years at this point, after the success of his History of the French Revolution. Now that he was famous and very influential among the literary classes, he had moved away from history and philosophy to the NOW and to social engagement with his times. With fame he had become not only braver in what he had to say (not that he was ever lacking in that department) but also much more intolerant, and with nothing that you could call quality control.

England is Sick. That was Carlyle's starting point. So many factories and so many machines, but people were still starving and still unhappy. The book opens with what reads like genuine concern for the plight of the poor, and for the workers who were then agitating for voting rights and the like. But Carlyle makes it clear that THEY MUST NOT be given votes. Instead what they need is good leadership. The kind then in power was the "Idle Aristocracy", who he lampoons in the figure of Sir Jabesh Windbag, a member of parliament and thus a no-good talking machine, content to sit around and do nothing while the working-classes get more miserable and more rebellious. The merchant classes also suck: they're characterized by Bobus Higgins, a sausage manufacturer. These guys shouldn't be allowed to vote, either, because "What can the incorruptiblest Bobuses elect, if it be not some Bobissimus, should they find such?"

Carlyle goes into raptures on strong leadership, someone like Oliver Cromwell. Some Hero who can keep everybody in line, who would be severe but just. "Despotism is essential in most enterprises", says Carlyle, but the point is to "make your despotism just". This involves "high honours for this man, gibbets for that". Carlyle's not that clear on how the Hero is to be found, just that if he isn't, apocalypse looms, chaos, anarchy. People need something to worship and bow down to. Otherwise, well...

The "Past" section deals with Carlyle's perfect society, based on some recently unearthed documents by a monk named Jocelin of Brakelond about life in the abbey under Abbot Samson, who is a strong but loving and god-fearing leader. God-fearing is good, because even though Carlyle doesn't seem to have any orthodox religious beliefs, he finds worship a very important part of life. The abbey sounds great and everything, but it's a good indication of how blindly impractical Carlyle was that he presents a model of society that doesn't include women.

This book will not appeal to the modern reader, generally speaking. One should remember just how influential it was in its day, though. Carlyle may seem proto-fascistic, but Engels was a big fan of this book, and it was important to many novelists and to the development of the condition-of-England novels of the 1840s and 50s. Carlyle seems to edge towards socialism in passages, as he lambasts the upper classes and commiserates with the lower. He's almost anarchistic in his wish to destroy existing structures of power. But when he gets to what he does want, it's just personal fantasies of power and domination writ large and projected onto the country, interesting in laying bare the psychological roots of fascism, maybe, but too exaggerated, one-sided and rhapsodic to be useful. The repitition is also excessive, and it's not surprising he wrote this book very quickly. There are flashes of insight and of power - Carlyle certainly had gifts as a writer, and his writing is not quite like anybody else's - but he's more interested in giving vent to his own very strong prejudices and frustrations than to dealing with the issues in a thoughtful or reasonable way. Sometimes it's like he's just deliberately being a jerk, or demanding attention by violent exaggeration. In the main, this book is deserving of the neglect into which it's fallen. Read his earlier Sartor Resartus instead, for a better idea of the power of his writing and integrity of his thought, and to find out he's not just a power-worshipping loon.
Carlyle begins Past and Present by noting that England has the economic paradox of possessing great wealth in the aggregate but little that filters down to the common man: "England is full of wealth, of multifarious produce, supply for human want in every kind; yet England is dying of inanition." He sees that England's poorhouses are full of out of work and homeless families. He uses the word "enchantment" to describe the look on their faces as they tell him a collective tale of economic and domestic woe caused by job loss. The inability to maintain a satisfactory life style is not limited to the poor; the rich suffer as well though certainly they have a safety buffer of long standing savings. Carlyle counts more than two million who are forced to live in these poorhouses with no hope: "They sit there, pent up, as in a kind of horrid enchantment; glad to be imprisoned and enchanted that they may not perish starved." Carlyle tells of a Tourist whose daily peregrinations take him past one such poorhouse. This Tourist is horrified at the mute, stupefied looks he sees printed on each unhappy face. The sheer numbers of those living there are staggering in their implications for the future of England: "You have to admit that the working body of this rich English Nation has sunk or is fast sinking into a state to which all sides considered, there was literally never any parallel." Carlyle asks rhetorically: how did England come to such a sad state?

Part of the answer lies in the nature of the hard to locate wealth, which he labels "enchanted." It is everywhere but nowhere, he adds paradoxically as if its enchanted status is explanation enough. Carlyle suggests that the missing wealth is not missing in the physical sense since after all it must lie somewhere even if fallow. It is what its users do with the wealth that marks its utility and hence its presence. As far as the wealth is concerned, "What increase of blessedness is there?" He questions the happiness that wealth ought to provide. A man may have possession of money in his pocket but not have access to the goods that he might otherwise purchase. This lack of access is what makes his wealth seem invisible. Thus, when he again asks rhetorically, "To whom then is this wealth of England wealth," he can lament only, "As yet no one." In the midst of seemingly unlimited resources, there is a "fatal financial paralysis spreading inwards from the extremities." He closes by alluding to Midas who was punished by the gods for arrogance. Whatever Midas touched turned to useless, and thus, fatal gold.

When Carlyle wrote Past and Present, England was experiencing a severe economic downturn that would continue for nearly a decade. High unemployment was rife and hundreds of thousands were rendered homeless. Events continued to worsen until Carlyle felt that he had to do something to halt the slide. He had been working on a biography of Cromwell but due to this crisis, he shelved this project to write with amazing speed a book whose purpose it was to "shake" England out of its doldrums so that he could apply his various philosophical tenets as a cure. Past and Present was written as four books, with Book II dealing with events from England's past (hence the title). The other three focused on the present such that Carlyle could expatiate on what was then plaguing England and what cures he could offer. The problems were the same that he addressed in his other books: creeping capitalism, enervating moral degeneracy, a vanishing belief in matters spiritual, a growing trend to accept conspicuous consumption, and the lack of a Great Leader to set things aright. The cures were also recycled from those very same books: a focus on duty, work, and obedience to a Great Leader. In "Midas," Carlyle alludes to the economic depression that he saw as tearing apart the British social and spiritual fabric. His grasp of economics is faulty in that he assumes that the root cause of England's various woes was due mostly to a shortage of goods to purchase rather than a lack of money to buy them. He implies that the blame for this belongs to those who were then suffering the most. Hence, there was a growing need for a Great Leader to arise to force the common man to plan his affairs with more prudence. Carlyle would spend the remainder of his life justifying this search for a Great Leader.

Carlyle introduces one of his favorite themes: that the love of money is the root of all evil. But he does so in a roundabout way as he first discusses Heaven and Hell before he connects them with his theme. He writes that Hell is a concept that varies from culture to culture and individual to individual. For England, Hell is the gospel of Mammonism, which simply means that the desire to earn money trumps the need to help one's fellow man. "Verily," he notes, "Mammonism is a melancholy creed." Carlyle uses the murder of Able by Cain to illustrate the perfidy that wages allegedly played in the killing.

The forced paying of unneeded money is the equivalent of going to Hell. An employer may pay lawful wages to an employee but the concept of paying more, say for maternity leave, would consign that employer to the darkest recesses of Hell.

Carlyle is upset with any "ism" that threatens to supplant belief in a Higher Power. Should such one belief misdirect men away from their pre-ordained creed, then it follows that malicious cant becomes the order of the day. And if cant be the coin of social interaction, then there can never arise the true hero as a counter weight: "For if there be no Hero and the Histrio (loud orator) himself begin to be seen into, what hope is there for the seed of Adam here below?" The result can be none other than "We are the doomed everlasting prey of the Quack." Such a Quack may maul and consume any man, but Carlyle is determined not to acquiesce passively: "Though he slay me yet will I not trust in him." The world is replete with false heroes, quacks, moral dissolutes, and pre-converted Teufelsdrockhs. Carlyle tells an anecdote of a poor widow who needed medicine for a fever. She made the rounds of her city's welfare agencies, all of which rudely turned her away. She died in agony, but before her death, she passed on to others her contagion, killing seventeen of them. One doctor posed the question: "Would it not have been economy to help this poor Widow?" It was not simply a balance sheet thought process that denied her aid. She was turned away because those who could have and should have helped her had long since lost their souls. Carlyle's conclusion: The misuse of money is but the external manifestation of those who resemble human beings in all aspects but lack an immortal soul.

Carlyle saw England in the economic bear hug of a capitalistic philosophy that required all concerned to value things over people. As soon as the majority of the populace accepted that world view, then it became inevitable that this culture was crumbling under the weight of its own excesses. The failure of man to help his fellow man opened the door to other equally invidious evils, one of which was the rise of the Quack. Carlyle held several spots open in his heart for the damnation of specified groups of miscreants. Chief among these was the Quack. As long as the Quack held sway, then the Great Leader could not arise. It became necessary for Carlyle as the Knight to slay the Quack-dragon, hence his willingness to postpone his beloved book on Cromwell for the moment. In the "Gospel of Mammonism," Carlyle identifies and tries his level best to marginalize such false prophets. He would spend his lifetime doing so.
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