John Carey is Professor Emeritus of English at Oxford University. From the City Club's announcement: "John Carey, chief book reviewer for the London Sunday Times since 1976 and a fellow of the British Academy, will discuss his book What Good Are the Arts?, which stirred major controversy when published in the UK in June 2005.
In his new book, Carey explores the following questions:Do the arts make us better people? Are they a sign of civilization? Can art be a substitute for religion, as our belief in its sacredness implies? Why should 'high' art be thought higher than 'low'? Are judgments about art anything more than personal opinions? Can science make anyuseful contribution to debates about the value of art? In addition, he makes a self-confessedly personal and subjective case for the superiority of literature to all other arts.
Carey has been at various points in his life a soldier, a barman, a television critic, a beekeeper, a printmaker and a professor of literature at Oxford. His literary critical works include John Donne: Life, Mind and Art and other books include Intellectuals and the Masses and three anthologies for Faber:The Faber Book of Reportage, The Faber Book of Science and The Faber Book of Utopias.
Added by sspivack on January 6, 2006