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