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He speaks bitterly of censorship and its power, the limitations it placed upon truth telling. "This censorship was submitted to by the public", he writes, "in every country, in the belief that it would be a sword in the hands of their skilful generals. No doubt in some cases it proved to be so; but far more frequently it served as a shield to hide the incompetence of generals, staffs, War Offices and the politicians who set them moving, or checked them (or set them moving and then checked them), as their ambitions or their cliques dictated. Early in 1916, this censorship was not, in this country, such a power as it afterward came to be, but, as a matter of course, it barred out the two most important sources of possible information, the Admiralty and the War Office." In effect, this prose epic was written as a message to America. It stands now, accurate or inaccurate, as a saga of heroism. Mr. Masefield finds himself puzzled by unwillingness to glorify war, yet no book could possibly do more to make for peace than one in

which the terrors and struggles of war, and the humanity of the soldier in face of tremendous odds, are so aptly told. What a mastery of prose rhythm! This prose is almost poetry, yet starkly simple. Homer is the name that comes to mind. Any page carries with it a sense of the march of history. If "Gallipoli" is not a proper textbook for those studying the history of the war, it is essential for an understanding of the spirit of the war, and it should be on every library and home shelf that boasts the inclusion of modern literary masterpieces. We quote at random:

This word of victory, coming to men who thought for the moment that their efforts had been made in vain, had the effect of a fresh brigade. The men rallied back up the hill; bearing the news to the firing-line, the new, constricted line was made good, and the rest of the night was never anything but continued victory to those weary ones in the scrub. But 24 hours of continual battle exhausts men, and by dawn the Turks, knowing the weariness of our men, resolved to beat them down into the sea. When the sun was well in our men's eyes they attacked again, with not less than twice our entire strength of fresh men, and with an overwhelming superiority in field artillery.

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By Irwin Edman

EDITOR'S NOTE: In this series of articles, the first of which was "Philosophy for the Lawless", the second "Religion for the Faithless", Dr. Edman seeks to show that, although present day intellectuals talk much of changed codes, of religion destroyed, of a challenging of convention, there can be for them a stability in the midst of their chaos. He attempts to point the way, to speculate as to what standards will arise from the ashes of the old, if the old is to be truly destroyed.

IN that wave of revealing introspec

Iith that has swept over American

literature in the last few years, we have had discovered to ourselves by writers as different as Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis that American life suffers from standardization, mediocrity, and externality. We have learned that the American scene offers no place or shelter for eternal and beautiful things, and, what is worse, no stimulus or encouragement to the kind of life that flowers into art. We have been told till it hurts that we are lost in the morasses of mechanism, industrialism, and materialism. We have been convicted of wallowing in haste, waste, and greed. There has been comparative silence as an answer to the charges that there is nothing in our continent or in our civilization that gives a characteristic savor or meaning or loveliness to our lives.

Now anyone who has traveled much abroad knows that what these writers say is wrong with the American scene, has been more or less wrong with the world since the industrial revolution. Much of the joy that an American finds in Europe is not the glamor of a beautified present, but the halo of a dying past. The loveliness is that of individual relics and monuments lingering in the midst of a civilization not much less mechanical or external than

our own. The illusion of difference comes partly, though not wholly, from the fact that the American remembers a distilled and purified Europe upon his return. He recalls, not the factories and unemployment of Birmingham but the promenaders in the wide spaces of the Tuileries Gardens. He remembers, not the grime of Manchester but the green of Salisbury, not the soot of the Five Towns but the thatched cottage and the cathedral close.

The indictment that sensitive and creative minds make against the conditions of American life is thus not an accusation against America; it is a charge against that industrial revolution whose operations and consequences are most clearly seen in America where, since it is a young country, there is so little of the lovely persistence of older and more beautiful vestiges and ways of life. The troubled critics of the American scene are making practically the same charges that Matthew Arnold was elegantly thundering against the British middle class fifty years ago. The comfortable citizenry was living upon the fruits of a terrible and dwarfing labor. It was spending its energies in an equally terrible and footless leisure.

Our own recent critics have, on the whole, been concerned not with the

hardnesses of the labor on which our civilization rests, but with the rottenness, dulness, and absurdity of the leisure which it makes possible. The industrial millennium has not arrived. But what depresses those concerned for the future of our life on this side of the Atlantic is what that millennium would be like if it did arrive. They have their suspicions, drawn largely from an observation of what preoccupies the time of those economically on the yonder side of Paradise. Lewis Mumford in his striking❝Story of Utopias" points out that the implicit and controlling ideal of our civilization is the Country House, with all that it implies of the way life should be lived. If the measure of our civilization is to be found by what we do or would wish to do with our leisure, we are convicted, most of the critics assure us - and with painfully accurate justice of doing with it nothing or worse than nothing. They insist that the tempo of our life is Philistine, and that it lacks the quality, the presence, or the possibility of art. Our leisure is as regimented as our labor. Our amusements are as compulsory and as standardized as our work. It is not golf they object to, but the whole regimental rigmarole of the country club. They do not bemoan the radio, but the jazzy disintegration of the radio programs. It is not that we are pressed and penniless; but that having, by current standards, the major wealth and leisure of the world, we live in luxurious barracks, find pleasure in excited and standardized revues, and have neither the individual passion of producing nor the private peace of enjoying art.

For these critics, art and beauty have indeed become the new religion. Having nothing much left to believe in in the way of a world to come, they look for something to cling to in the

world about them. In the middle of the nineteenth century, along with those optimistic giants of reason, Comte and Mill, they and we might have evolved for ourselves sufficient faith and exuberance in the possibilities of progress to have founded and found spiritual satisfaction in a religion of humanity. The war - and the peace

have disillusioned us. The prophets of sensitive despair have fled to the ivory tower. In the exquisite cultivation of beautiful moments, they have found the only hope of grace in a graceless world. The concert hall has become the new cathedral, in which sounds without meaning have been found to be the only pure pleasures in a meaningless world.

But those who flee to art have a profounder reason. They have shaken off the rusty shackles of old foolish moralities, and they have, in a latter day paganism, discovered anew the Greek identity between the beautiful and the good. What is good is not what was commanded by a law no longer believed in. What is good is what is moving to the senses, emotions, and the mind. For art comes to us, in Pater's famous phrase, proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to the moments as they pass, and simply for those moments' sake. And in the perfect moments of pure pleasure in color, word or sound, or the free and perfect spontaneity of artistic production, prophets of the newest paganism see not only a stimulation but a morality, not merely a pleasure but a religion.

Meanwhile the average man in the street has become increasingly suspicious of and insensitive to art as a thing, a life, a cult. There is no question that in America, for many intelligent minds, art is a foolish epithet adored by effeminate sillies. It is

associated with museums that one never enters and books that one never - voluntarily-reads. It is profound, unctuous, and essentially unimportant. It is as serious as a religious service, and as dull. Or it is an embroidered dissipation indulged in by elegant wastrels. It suggests the sultry nonsense of the fin de siècle and the worst of Oscar Wilde. The wholesome, normal, full blooded he-man with the tangible goods of swift motors, weekend golf, and the rattat intoxication of jazz, sniffs at museums, concert halls, and libraries with all their dull and deadly arts. If he tolerates art at all, it is with the breeziest of the intellectuals in their canonization of the lively arts of jazz, vaudeville, and the comic strip.

The wholesome hearties who feel the futility of much irrelevant prettifying that passes for art, are expressing a certain justice in their reactions. Many who produce or are absorbed in the fine arts in our generation are having the experience, not of art, but of daydreaming. When poetry degenerates into a thin playing with irrelevant verbal music, it is not an art but a tinkling escape from the major concerns of life. It is a flight to fantoms and arabesques from a civilization left no less brutalized and unadorned. Nothing could be more wan and depressing than an evening spent with a group of people whose only concerns are with the choice between mauve color and rose, and who have no life outside the exquisite titillations of the fine arts. Their passions seem puerile and their subject matter nil. One understands why Bernard Shaw believes that in a really adult civilization, like that pictured in the last part of "Back to Methuselah", art would take its place along with other toys proper to children. The Sancho Panzas of our day are not complete fools, no more so than

was their original. They know there are more important concerns for living men than the tinkle of a rhyme or the last nuance of a color. They are justly suspicious of those who think there are not.

Yet one can believe that in the quarrels between the æsthetes and the hearties, the meaning of art in its widest human sense has been forgotten. They have both failed to see in art that which has made the most profound and vertebrate of thinkers, from the Greeks down, find in it the type and pattern of civilized achievement. They must both fail to understand why these same thinkers have found that a civilization without beauty was not a civilization at all. Oddly enough, the call to art as the type of perfect experience and perfected life has come in our generation most urgently not from an æsthete at all. It is Havelock Ellis, after a lifetime of frank and mellow survey of all the depths and radiations and heights of human passion, who has pleaded for beauty as a criterion of morals and art as the most expressive and generous pattern of life.

It was Aristotle who long ago fixed the most significant and pregnant meaning of art. He contrasted it with nature; it is artfulness or artifice; what man does to nature; it is what man does to a nature which was not made for him, but which he must accommodate himself to and subject to his own best uses. Bridging a river or broiling a steak are instances of art in its simplest and most rudimentary sense. All civilization is in essence an art; human intelligence applied to the conditions of nature, and human dreams turned through the technique of sciences and institutions into something like order and delight. If without government, as Hobbes insisted, life would be "poor, nasty, brutish and

short", government is only one of the arts by which the human animal has turned his instincts into beneficent methods, and the chaos of his environment into a tolerable order. The step from the bearable to the beautiful is not very far. The fine arts are simply those arts in which what is done is done beautifully and for its own sweet sake. The sheer unquestionable and unquestioned joy of beholding a beautiful thing, and the liberating activity of producing it, have been regarded throughout recorded history as among the clear and impeccable goods of life.

The call to art is thus not at all a call, to burial in a museum or stultification in a concert hall. It is merely a reminder that in the ways of creation that we call art and the objects we call beautiful are the instances of what we might wish our lives and our society to be continually like. Often before a still life we are caught in a moment's act of vision that is instant and absolute peace. It is such serenity as love and friendship at moments provide, and which a more generous order of society might make more continually possible. In listening to the ordered march, momentum, and disciplined passion that is Brahms's "First Symphony", we have a sense of what life, if its conditions were both more sensible and more spontaneous, might be like.

What troubles and justly troubles

the critics about our civilization is not that people fail to buy books and pictures and talk the High Lingo of the nouveau art. What troubles them is that the sense for beauty and the demand for it are so notably absent and so little cultivated in our lives. What is needed is not so much new museums to bore more Philistines. What is demanded is a type of education and morale that will make beauty

regarded as less of an effete stranger in our midst.

The artist knows that what gives his work and his life reality is individuality. He resents that standard mechanization of life that deprives lives of anything of a personal signature, or character. Some years ago, Helen Marot suggested that we make room in industry for something she suggestively called the "creative impulse". Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton sentimentalize much about the days when each handicraftsman put his own individual and unique touch upon his own work which he saw through from its design to its finish. Perhaps that is impossible for a civilization committed to quantity and machine reproduction. But certainly there could be more room for freedom, individuality, in our teaching, our writing, and our ideas in a civilization that did not put a premium upon standardized things, patterns, and ideas in everything from collars to cantatas.


Art for Philistia should begin with something more fundamental than courses in art or provision for artistic training, though it is curious how completely, for the most part, our universities have made provision for everything but the imaginative life. should be part of our education to train us to a sense of the aesthetic possibilities of acts and objects not commonly thought within the domain of art. It is part of our gospel of efficiency to have become careless of all the means and incidents in life that might become durably and pervasively beautiful. After a sojourn in England, the returning American is shocked by the extent to which speech with us has become simply a hard ugly method of getting things said. And how easily the words and cadences of our language might turn the daily intercourse of our lives

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