I have no idea where he gets the entitlement to tell people who live their life how they want to live it in the towns and areas they have grown up in that they are not 'authentic'. There seem to be no conclusions. He acknowledges himself as a card-carrying member in most of our culture's follies. No one has been exploited, but everyone has. It's as if someone sat down after one of the many drawn-out discussion in or shortly after graduate school and wrote down a more narrative coherent consideration. In The Thing Itself, Todd attempts to discover for himself a new way of thinking by asking the simple question: What is true in ourselves and the world around us? I found his chapter about Epcot, which he hated, and Las Vegas, which he liked quite interesting.
Hell, I bet most visitors to major world landmarks, especially those in the western world Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa are visited much more by tourists than by travelers. Most pertinent to the way we live now. It helps if you've read some philosophy or literary criticism while reading this book; not to sound elitist. The value of antiques something he loves seems to be beyond question. Not everyone can afford to fly to Europe to see original works of art ie poor people who often have less exposure to education and arts and culture.
Why do tourists buy guidebooks promising an authentic—i. Incited by the feeling that the essence of the modern world is buried beneath the distractions of hype and melodrama, cultural critic Richard Todd began a personal search for authenticity, that elusive quality we often seek but seldom find. He admits several times in the book that he is a snob and no one who has read this would disagree. Their value, in both cases, derives entirely from the visibility to others and the status that it brings. The references to Walter Benjamin, Theodore Adorno whose name is hilariously misspelled in the bibliography , Lionel Trilling, etc.
The major thing I found annoying about this book was that most of the material that is covered is covered much better in other places and a basic survey of philosophy can tell you where. With an exquisite eye for detail and an inquisitive spirit, Todd launches into an involving and elegantly crafted investigation of what makes an authentically lived life. The last two chapters were such a contrast. In a Las Vegas bar, Todd watches geysers choreographed to Appalachian Spring, the spectacle an oddly pleasant sacrilege. I feel as though I've just sat through the best lecture of my life. Nothing in this book was particularly original or novel. It is engrossing and beautiful, and for the most part, it rings true.
I began reading it today, at 12 pm and just finished it right now -- that's how engrossing it is. Todd's craftsmanship coupled with current cultural references and philosophical insight moved this book to the top of my list. But Todd does reference many writers and ideas which have covered the topics he's writing about And there's a bibliography at the end with books to read and it helps if you have some type of background -- an intro to phil class works. About the Author Richard Todd has spent many years as a magazine and book editor at The Atlantic, New England Monthly, and Houghton Mifflin. If you're interested in the idea of the Self, I recommend reading Socrates, Kierkegaard, Neitszche, Sartre et al or taking a philosophy course, since while the last part is interesting, it's more about his life.
There is a reason Richard Todd is a contributing columnist for a host of magazines and does not pay the bills as a full-time author. What I felt like Todd was presenting as some kind of universal which he never actually says, so it could just be my interpretation seemed very centere I found this book interesting, though it wasn't really what I expected. The penultimate discussing life and death, and the last deciding authenticity was eating dinner with your family. Company courtier, cultural bureaucrat, hedger of true feelings. I'd like to see Todd write a chapter about how an East Asian American isn't 'authentic' because they aren't good at math or that a woman isn't 'authentic' if she doesn't know how to cook. This is a painful read and I regret having spent money on it or reading it. I was going to stop reading it but I was stuck on an airplane.
There is little to no difference with these statements and what Todd is doing. I was going to stop reading it but I was stuck on an airplane. A small masterpiece- and 'small' only because of its brevity, not its scope. While I am against the reproductions of art that are intended to pass as the originals so that they can sell for millions of dollars, I am incredibly supportive of reproductions that are sold at a much cheaper price so that a much broader audience can see the brilliance of the art. A deeply personal literary memoir that explores what it means to live an authentic life in an increasingly detached and self-conscious world.
This is a painful read and I regret having spent money on it or reading it. I just know it's important, and we notice when it's missing. The book opens with Todd at mid-life, aspiring to be a country gentleman. He was drawn to it and had all these reasons for liking the box and needing the box. He's a cultural snob but at least he admits it, and he is well-read and has a good sense of humor. Anyone who has had even the most cursory contact with philosophy should avoid this.