The function of literature, through all its mutations, has been to make us aware of the particularity of selves, and the high authority of the self in its quarrel with its society and its culture. Literature is in that sense subversive.
Lionel Trilling (July 4, 1905 November 5, 1975) was an American literary critic, author, and teacher. Trilling was one of the group known as "The New York Intellectuals" and was viewed as one of the great literary critics of his time. He is probably most famous to the general public for his introduction to a 1952 reissue of George Orwell's book, Homage to Catalonia. He was also a regular contributor to the Partisan Review.