Parochialism in time

There is, writes Dalrymple,

no more evanescent quality than modernity, a banal observation whose import those who take pride in their modernity contrive to ignore. Having reached the pinnacle of human achievement by living in the present rather than in the past, they assume that nothing will change after them; and they assume that the latest is best.

He notes that in certain fields the latest is inclined to be best. For example,

no one would wish to be treated surgically using the methods of Sir Astley Cooper.


if we want modern treatment, it is not because it is modern but because it better as gauged by pretty obvious criteria. If it were worse (as very occasionally it is), we should not want it, however modern it were.

Alas, says Dalrymple,

the idea of progress has infected important spheres in which it has no proper application, particularly the arts.

Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: