In How Global Entertainment killed Culture, Mario Vargas Llosa deconstructs the idea of culture in times like these. Llosa examines what culture meant in his day and the theories surrounding it. Culture is a fascinating word that is often misused. He examines what a variety of writers and thinkers have to say about the subject and reaches the core of each writer’s argument.
While T.S.Eliot wrote extensively about culture in an essay, George Steiner’s response to his ideas was one of disbelief. If the atrocities of the World War had been ignored, how could Eliot have done justice?
The idea of post-culture was a rude awakening. No amount of humanities could humanize a person. Llosa also examines ‘mass culture’ emerging as a result of market forces. We see mass culture everywhere: in Hollywood, the internet and even sport. Llosa is not too sure if you can call this a culture at all.
A book that Llosa approves of is Mainstream by the sociologist Frédéric Martel where mainstream culture is described as manga, pop, rock, rap, gaming, etc . Today culture is more about entertainment and is instantaneous. It has none of the qualities that the word ‘culture’ brings to mind. Read this essay if you want to understand this much misunderstood word and do it justice, and read Llosa’s book Notes on the Death of Culture to get the whole picture.