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John Carey

Related: intellectuals - mass - Modernism - Modernist literature - nobrow - popular culture - relativism

A scholarship boy from an 'ordinary' background, John Carey has had a distinguished career at Oxford but attacks the university's elitist rituals. He is best known for his trenchant literary criticism and books on Dickens and Donne. His latest book controversially argues that the majority should not have to pay for the artistic pleasures of the educated minority. --http://books.guardian.co.uk [May 2006]

Key texts: What Good Are the Arts? (2005) - John Carey - The Intellectuals and the Masses (1992)


John Carey (born 1934) is a British literary critic, and emeritus Merton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. He was born in Barnes, London, and brought up in Nottingham as an evacuee and East Sheen. He studied at St. John's College, Oxford. After posts in a number of Oxford colleges, he became Merton Professor in 1975, retiring in 2001.

He is known, amongst other things, for his anti-elitist tone and iconoclastic views on high culture, as expressed for example in his recent book What Good Are the Arts? (2005).

He has twice chaired the Booker Prize committee, in 1982 and 2004, and chaired the judging panel for the first Man Booker International Prize in 2005. He also is a reviewer for the London Sunday Times. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Carey_%28critic%29 [Feb 2006]

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