Monday, October 31, 2005

Installment Twenty...

Just as the savage in bewilderment picks up ...a strange object cast up by the sea?...something long buried in the sand?...a baffling object fallen from the sky? - intricately shaped, now glistening dully, now reflecting a brilliant flash of light - just as he turns it this way and that, twirls it, searches for a way to utilize it, seeks to find for it a suitable lowly application, all the while not guessing its higher function...
So we also, holding Art in our hands, confidently deem ourselves its masters; we boldly give it direction, bring it up to date, reform it, proclaim it, sell it for money, use it to please the powerful, divert it for amusement - all the way down to vaudeville songs and nightclub acts-or else adapt it (with a muzzle or stick, whatever is handy) toward transient political or limited social needs. But art remains undefiled by our endeavors and the stamp of its origin remains unaffected: each time and in every usage it bestows upon us a portion of its mysterious inner light.

- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Nobel Lecture On Literature

2 comments:

Queen of Arts and England said...

Well now, that's a mind-full!

Foolish Knight said...

I you give a Russian thinker a microphone...