Ideas Go Flat

Darwin, Marx, Wagner became great men, great books, great bores. Their capacity to shock, to instruct, and to confer prestige through their vanguardism ended in due course. There comes a time for all systems when the ideas, and more especially the lingo, cease bubbling and taste flat.

– Jacques Barzun from "Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage"

5 thoughts on “Ideas Go Flat”

  1. There is some truth to this, but on the other hand, ideas can be new again with each generation that hears about them for the first time. I know Marxism in particular is very attractive to millennials (see Occupy movement).

  2. We must not forget Engels! 😉 Sad, German Romanticism had the likes of Beethoven, Schumann, etc. and of course Goethe. But it was always in love with certain medievalism, primitive nature, and Orientalism. What is our time in love with?…a certain new age narcissism, perhaps. Not to mention sexual ethics put on top of its head!

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