Dutton’s Digital Legacy
Arbiter of culture Denis Dutton was one of the most prominent patrons of the arts of the 21st century, writes Sam Sacks for the Wall Street Journal, reflecting on Dutton’s legacy. While being a philosopher, writer, and professor, he will perhaps best be remembered for his website, Arts & Letters Daily. The website, offering readers links to recent non-fiction writing from periodicals and websites, fuels debate and appreciation of academic ideas. Dutton instilled Arts & Letters Daily with the atmosphere of a Victorian reading room – a haven for reading and thinking, free from the distractions of the modern world. Through this website, Dutton had the unparalleled ability to bring small intellectual ventures to the attention of global audiences. Dutton helped change the psyche of intellectual media, simultaneously encouraging editors to publish pieces they believe in and urging readers to read with an open mind. Through his work with Arts & Letters Daily, Dutton proved that with the right mentality the internet is far from inhospitable to intellectual endeavors.