“Culture is, before all things, the unity of artistic style, in every expression of the life of a people. Abundant knowledge and learning, however, are not essential to it, nor are they a sign of its existence; and, at a pinch, they might coexist much more harmoniously with the very opposite of culture— with barbarity: that is to say, with a complete lack of style, or with a riotous jumble of all styles.”
In other words: Culture is first and foremost about the unity of artistic style in every aspect of people’s lives. Knowledge and learning do not, by themselves, create culture and they are not essential to it. Knowledge and learning might just as easily be found in an uncivilized society with a complete lack of style, or many inconsistent styles.
David J. Jilk
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