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Sincerity and Authenticity

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Overview


"Now and then," writes Lionel Triling "it is possible to observe the moral life in process of revising itself." In this new book he is concerned with such a mutation: the process by which the arduous enterprise of sincerity, of being true to one's self, came to occupy a place of supreme importance in the moral life--and the further shift which finds that place now usurped by the darker and still more strenuous modern ideal of authenticity. Instances range over the whole of Western literature and thought, from Shakespeare to Hegel to Sartre, from Robespierre to R.D. Laing, suggesting the contradictions and ironies to which the ideals of sincerity and authenticity give rise, most especially in contemporary life. Lucid, and brilliantly framed, its view of cultural history will give Sincerity and Authenticity an important place among the works of this distinguished critic.
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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
A beautifully written book, its tone admirably judged and perfectly sustained…It is wide fastidious and deeply thoughtful in its range of reference, Temperate, controlled and delicately scrupulous, it is a tribute if ever there was one to the "honest consciousness."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674808614
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 2/18/2006
  • Series: Charles Eliot Norton Lectures Series , #2004
  • Pages: 204
  • Sales rank: 728,429
  • Product dimensions: 0.43 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

At the time of his death in 1975, Lionel Trilling was University Professor at Columbia University.
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Table of Contents

1. Sincerity: Its Origin and Rise

2. The Honest Soul and the Disintegrated Consciousness

3. The Sentiment of Being and the Sentiments of Art

4. The Heroic, and Beautiful, and Authentic

5. Society and Authenticity

6. The Authentic Unconscious

Reference Notes

Index of Names

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