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Middlebrow and proud / Opinion
Experts say it's time to embrace middle-of-the-road tastes (so you can stop pretending to love opera!)
Have you got Maeve Binchy on your bookshelf, Coldplay on your stereo and plans to spend Friday night at Pizza Express? If so, like most of us, you’re probably part of the New Middlebrow.
I know I am. At the end of a rather wine-fuelled dinner party a few weeks ago, the conversation turned to books.
‘The thing is,’ I pronounced, ‘I know I should say that my favourite book is Middlemarch or Great Expectations or War & Peace, but actually, when it comes to a page-turner, the book I enjoyed most was The Da Vinci Code.’
There was a stunned silence. But then, one by one, everyone around the table agreed that, unfashionable as it was to admit to liking Dan Brown, they all, rather sheepishly, did.
For all that literary snobs may turn up their noses, The Da Vinci Code has sold more than 80 million copies, and it’s a jolly good read. Then again, Pizza Express — which serves more than 28 million pizzas a year — inevitably never makes restaurant critics’ list of top ten eateries. And Jack Vettriano is among the world’s best-selling artists, but arty types would rather wax lyrical about Tracey Emin.
The truth is that all three are, like Gap, Sting, Downton Abbey* and Starbucks, the definition of ‘the middlebrow’ — a catch-all term for a cultural movement that falls somewhere between highbrow (opera) and lowbrow (the Jeremy Kyle Show**), and, according to a rather snooty piece in a recent issue...
Продолжение читайте в журнале English4U №9 (сентябрь 2011) на который можно подписаться или купить здесь.