2017년 11월 2일 목요일

[읽기 C.P. Snow] The Two Cultures


출처: C. P. Snow. "The Two Cultures." The Rede Lecture, 1959. Cambridge University Press.


※ 발췌 (excerpt):

( ... ... ) It just happened to be an unusual experience. By training I was a scientist: by vocation I was a writer. That was all. It was a piece of luck, if you like, that arose through coming from a poor home.

( ... ... ) I believe the intellectual life of the whole western society is increasingly being split into two polar groups. When I say the intellectual life, I mean to include also a large part of our practical life, because I should be the last person to suggest the two can at the deepest level be distinguished. I shall come back to the practical life a little later. Two polar groups: at one pole we have the literary intellectuals, who incidentally while no one was looking took to referring to themselves as 'intellectuals' as though there were no others. I remember G. H. Hardy once remarking to me in mild puzzlement, some time in the 1930s: "Have you noticed how the word 'intellectual' is used nowadays?  There seems to be a new definition which certainly doesn't include Rutherford or Eddington or Dirac or Adrian or me. It does seem rather odd, don't y'know?" [주]2

Literary intellectuals at one pole--at the other scientists, and as the most representative, the physical scientists. Between the two a gulf of mutual miscomprehension--sometimes (particularly among the young) hostility and dislike, but most of all lack of understanding. They have a curious distorted image of each other. Their attitudes are so different that, even on the level of emotion, they can't find much common ground. Non-scientists tend to think of scientists as brash and boastful. They hear Mr. T. S. Eliot, who just for these illustrations we can take as an archetypal figure, saying about his attempts to revive verse-drama that we can hpe for very little, but that he would feel content if he and his co-workers could prepare the ground for a new Kyd or a new Greene. That is the tone, restricted and constrained, with which literary intellectuals are at home: it is the subdued voice of their culture. ( ... ) What is hard for the literar intellectuals to understand, imaginatively or intellectually, is that he was absolutely right.

( ... ... ) The non-scientists have a rooted impression that the scientists are shallowly optimistic, unaware of man's condition. On the other hand, the scientists believe that the literary intellectuals are totally lacking in foresight, peculiarly unconcerned with their brother men, in a deep sense anti-intellectual, anxious to restrict both art and thought to the existential moment. ( ... ... )

First, about the scientists' optimism. This is an accusation which has been made so often that it has become a platitude. ( ... ... )

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