Quote Originally Posted by kiplet View Post
Hey! Great Question. I've always thought the concept of Middlebrow was intriguing in itself. Wikipedia is quite good on the Middlebrow thing, which, it seems, derives as a joke from phrenology during a period (1925) when presumably phrenology was something of a joke.

If one reconsiders the brow thing from the point of view of the fears and anxieties of the various people behind the brows, then Middlebrow is all about how to acquire a brow. Since you need a brow, I guess it makes sense that at some point (eg novels) the acquisition of a brow implies the need for a point of view that demonstrates what it is like to have a brow. In this I'd say a good novel is always a bit middlebrow. Fielding for example -- who might be said to have invented the good novel if not the novel -- guides his readers through all sorts of complex stuff and I for one am ever happy in a middlebrow way for such guidance.