The Crisis of High Culture in Cuba

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Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788498168716

The Crisis of High Culture in Cuba is an essay by Jorge Mañach marked by the frustration of republican ideals in Cuba. In Mañach’s thought, high culture is the “organized set of higher manifestations of understanding.” Consequently

“The formation of high culture in young peoples is usually conditioned by the emergence of an ideal of independence and peculiarity—that is, of political independence, as a State, and of social independence, as a nation.
Once these two ideals are realized, culture tends to their conservation and zeal. Thus, in France, culture seems superior to us, and it is in fact, because we always find it at the service of a collective personality already curdled.”

Without such conditions of independence and peculiarity, societies and nations only produce

“mere scholars of colonial society, well-read noblemen, but without any rigorous yearning for discipline, perfection, practical application of knowledge; and what is more important: without any sufficiently concrete ideal aspiration that would make their lucubrations true contributions to a heritage of culture”.

The Crisis of High Culture in Cuba is a somewhat tragic and sharp text. It denounces the weakness and narrow-mindedness of the Cuban intellectual class of his time. Mañach accuses her of being deprived of a national vision and a collective intellectual ideology.
Beyond the analysis of the concept of “high culture in Cuba”, the dilemma presented here has enormous validity in modern societies. In them we still debate what pop culture is and what its status is in the intellectual tradition.

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