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EDWARD MORGAN FORSTER (1879-1970)
A 12pp. holograph speech in Forster's hand, broadcast on All-India Radio, discussing the role of the artist in the post-war world: "Will he be a state servant? paid by the community and told by the community what to do?... Or, again, will he live among enemies and create secretly and in peril ... He is always being preached at and being told that he ought to preach ... He will express the feeling of his people and reflect their attitude and he will, if generously minded, desire to champion the oppressed and reform abuses. But to say that his fundamental duty is to do these things is to mistake his function ... He must write properly, paint properly, express himself as an individual. When he has done that, his message ... is sure to show through." He accuses artists who only wish to get a viewpoint across of being: "pamphleteers ." An artist's "message ... must come out incidentally ... I'm not against pamphlets -- our age necessitates them -- But I do think it deplorable that he should devote himself entirely to the propogation of opinion, when his basic duty is creation ... I am suspicious of the present orgy of messages -- messages which seldom reach any destination but return into the ear of the orator and make him self complacent and hard ... if I had a message I think I'd say Don't be hard. Be sensitive. Notice things." He goes on to discuss "Detachment and Passion," claiming that a pamphleteer cannot combine the two qualities but an artist can: "How else can you summarize Shakespeare?" An artist is urged to have these qualities: "if he is to help the post-war world." The new world: "will be closely organised and the state will take the place of the individual patrons," but must not: "constantly lift the lid off the pot to see whether the pot's boiling." He concludes: "If there are no artists in the post-war world, if there are only scientists and preachers ... it's a bad look out for the world."
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