Stanley Cavell is a philosopher and Walter M. Cabot Professor Emeritus of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University. His books include Must We Mean What We Say?, The Claim of Reason, The World Viewed, and Pursuits of Happiness.
"The general idea about America, the colloquial, is that life is a set of problems, and you solve them. This represents a certain superficiality of American political and religious life and a sense of the superficiality of American life generally that not only seemed to me false but galled me. Not only does it deny the depth of its literature-well, not only: It denies the depth of its literature! But then that also inspired me to realize that very often people working in literature deny the depth of its literature, too."