The narrowing of artistic effort into a single groove is the outcome of a reaction from sentimentality, and an abuse of subjective interest divorced from those aesthetic purposes to which every other should be subsidiary in the conceiving of a work of art. But this violent reaction, like all that is revolutionary, tends to exaggeration. There is little discrimination, and far too much iconoclasm, in the revolting spirit who rushes headlong to the other side. Time invariably sobers the spirit that ostentatiously dissociates itself from the powers that were, and proclaims in its every constituent that henceforth it has no connection with them, and is blind to the lesson of history. Time finds for us a middle course, which it had been wiser for us to steer for from the first. Your hat will be longer serviceable in a fast-moving age, if it is not built on the lines of the latest mode in hats ; and provided you keep yourself green, which you may do by laying for yourself a thorough foundation and a varied resourcefulness, you will not fail to move quietly along with the flowing current.<< Previous page
If you are born to be a pioneer and can direct the ebb and flow of artistic thought, advice is unnecessary ; but make sure that nature, and not the fashion, has made you one.
There are few things more depressing than the sight that meets one on the walls of some continental exhibitions, where the decadent spirit of revolt—anarchy is the fitter word—excites the would-be famous to make little fireworks of their own with their private and special brand of matches, on the chance that the fermenting critic may be impressed by the glare ; unfortunately he not rarely is, and so the contagion rages, and sanity is voted commonplace.
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