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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

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Friday 11 November 2005

Ian Cutler

Ian Cutler's Cynicism from Diogenes to Dilbert is certainly worthy of your attention. Cynics get a very bad press and Ian is the man to put the record straight. Yiannis Gabriel, in his introduction to the book (which I'm reproducing, with kind permission of the publisher, as a book review here in RSB), says:


The repertoire of practices, aims and ideas initiated by the ancient cynics recur in the pages of this book, as Cutler imaginatively traces them in different cultural and political set-ups, in different discourses and different epochs. It is a measure of their power that they continue to resonate across all these boundaries. And it is a measure of Cutler's success that he has managed to display both the continuity and the richness of cynicism in its different incarnations. As a piece of intellectual archaeology, Cutler combines the obsessive attention to detail characteristic of the detective and the ability to make old themes and old ideas come alive in front of our eyes. The enduring quality of this book is its ability to vindicate cynicism as a defiant and imaginative stance that proudly declines to lapse into narcissism, self-pity or martyrdom, a stance from which we can learn much today.

(Click here for the whole of Yiannis Gabriel's introduction to Ian Cutler's Cynicism from Diogenes to Dilbert.)

Posted by Mark Thwaite

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