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Foucauldian Power Plays: “Arnoldian”

July 8, 2014

Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold

I’ve read and reread Matthew Arnold many times now. I’m reviewing *Culture and Anarchy* again today. For all his faults, I am more convinced than ever that Arnold gets a bum rap from American cultural (and intellectual) historians. “Arnoldianism” and “Arnoldian” are lazy tropes used—much like Marxist, Marxism, socialist, or socialism—to brand and dismiss a certain class of historical cultural figures and intellectuals one wants to avoid examining in detail. In other words, “Arnoldian” is a Foucauldian power play for historians. – TL

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