Liberalism, the Novel, & the Self: Lionel Trilling on the Political Functions of Literature
Lionel Trilling was a literary critic, not a political theorist, but he was very much concerned with the political effects of novels. This article explores Trilling's understanding of politics and the novel and, in particular, his view that novels can strengthen liberal society by presenting conflicting ideas in a way that encourages critical thinking and a morally stronger individual. Despite Trilling's limitations as a political theorist, the author finds his writings have much to teach on the relationship between liberalism, the novel, and the self.
Hersch, Charles B., "Liberalism, the Novel, & the Self: Lionel Trilling on the Political Functions of Literature" (1991). Political Science Faculty Publications. Paper 65.
Charles B. Hersch. (1991) Liberalism, the Novel, & the Self: Lionel Trilling on the Political Functions of Literature. Polity, 24, 1, 91-106.