Essay Page 16
based firmly on the idea of talent, which is inherently anti-egalitarian. The marketplace is the worst purveyor of modern egalitarianism: it worships the common man and shows the most florid contempt for "intellectuals" and artsy-fartsy types.

The serious artist is at times put in an impossible position, if he is unwilling to join the carnival of the marketplace, advertising, and Hollywood, and can be slowly crushed by the indifference and contempt of the surrounding culture unless he gives in and sells his integrity and therefore his cultural worth. Of course, he is not outright killed or put into prison, and he may even win awards and accolades in the major media and the occasional website. But the contempt he faces may be worst. There's nothing better guaranteed to rot a person from within: it undermines your faith in yourself. I know from personal

experience: the total lack of response to my novel by the American media has been a very bitter experience, balanced (fortunately) by the strong support of a handful of cultural "outliers."

But of course, artists aren't the only persons facing threats to their integrity - it's something that, I guess, any honest person feels - they just feel it more keenly, and express it more forcefully, for obvious reasons.

I'd like to develop these ideas in greater detail but my supervisor just brought me some work to do!

Talk to you soon.