Letter: A valuable search for authenticity

Sir: Bryan Appleyard's theory that we are living through an age of marketed authenticity ('Created in man's own image', 6 July) can be turned against itself all too easily. For centuries there have been those who promote the noble savage, Robinson Crusoe or back-to-nature (human or environmental) ideologies.

These were often linked to the concept of the independent individual, who, it was argued, could best develop and thrive in a particular kind of environment. In part these have always been romantic delusions, but they express also our ongoing search for some sense of meaning and root identity beneath the layers of self or social deceit. The goal may be unattainable but the search is valuable.

Yours faithfully,



Rural Community Council

Isle of Wight

From Dr John Leach