Thanks to commenter Kiljoy for bringing to our attention this discussion at the Institute of Art and Ideas in Hay-on-Wye. Dalrymple participated in a panel discussion on the future of European culture: As Europe loses economic power relative to the rest of the world, will it also lose its cultural influence?
Godfrey Barker argues that cultural power is not driven by money and that Europe retains its artistic and aesthetic influence even though its financial dominance has already waned. Charles Saumarez Smith says that, like it or not, culture is influenced by money and that this does not bode well for Europe. Dalrymple argues that Europe has already lost both its financial and cultural power and that this is so not because of its poor performance relative to the rest of world but “because of what we do to ourselves”.
Very good… thanks. For those in a hurry, “our man” speaks from 10:37 to 15:57 then again occasionally thereafter.
I’ve actually commented further about this over at the complementary forum.
again he uses his (young) mentally ill patients to illustrate his point. The question is: how typical are they? Surely they would be, by their very nature, atypical.
Not really, Louise, since they are drawn from the same class whose members, in Victorian times, were emerging from coal mines each evening and going home to learn German and Latin.
Also the art students he mentioned are, while atypical of society as a whole, absolutely central to the world being discussed here. As a former art student myself, I can attest to every single thing he reports about them and their “education” (and I did not go to an obscure art college out in the sticks, but a prestigious one in London).
I don’t think that even Dalrymple made that claim. Based on my own experIence and that of others the population of our psych hospitals is extremely heterogeneous .
As for the students he mentioned, Dalrymple omitted the fact that he was interviewing them in a psychiatric hospital so many other variables should be taken onto account: eg: what illnesses were present, what medication they were on etc.