(via Slate)

Nowadays, of course, such disdain for lowbrow fare is decidedly unfashionable; we live in an age of “Unibrowism,” as Louis Menand calls it (or “Nobrow,” to use John Seabrook’s term). And the manifesto by Macdonald, much as I wanted to like it (Macdonald is an endearing figure in many ways—plus, my dad lent me a copy of Against the American Grain when I was in college; he especially liked Macdonald’s takedown of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible), seems frankly snobbish and unappealing.

But it does raise an interesting question. While unabashedly lowbrow art has long ceased to be disreputable, has the term “middlebrow” also lost its sting?