Full text: The blind man (2)

From a 
April 12, 1917. 
Dear Blind Man:— 
Fine for yon! 
You are, I hope, to be an instrument for 
the accomplishment of an important and 
much-needed work in America; namely, 
the fostering and encouragement of a truly 
native art. An art which will be at once 
the result of a highly vitalized age, of a rest 
less artistic spirit, and of a sudden realiza 
tion,—on the part of our artists—of Amer 
ica’s high destiny in the future of the world. 
Such an art must very closely embody the 
spirit of our time, however morbid, how 
ever hurried, however disorganiezd, how 
ever nerve-racking that time may be. 
A bas,—you should say—with any and 
every school of art that represents another 
day, another spirit, another time. No art 
can live that is not an integral part of its 
time. Put Botticelli in a studio on Fifth 
Avenue; put Corot in a garret in Washing 
ton Square; put Fragonard in a barn in 
Harlem, and their work would be worth 
less, sterile, of no lasting purpose, or power 
of evocation; because it would fail abso 
lutely to symbolize and synthesize the spirit 
of our .age. Their work would merely be 
something promoted, not by our life, not 
by the vitalized forces of our time, but 
something promoted only by the flat, dead 
and profitless spirit of a bygone time. 
So, if you can help to stimulate and de 
velop an American art which shall truly 
represent our age, even if the age is one of 
telephones, submarines, aeroplanes, caba 
rets, cocktails, taxicabs, divorce courts, 
wars, tangos, dollar signs; or one of des 
perate strivings after new sensations and 
experiences, you will have done well. The 
future dwellers upon earth will then be 
able to look back to our day, and, with truth 
and conviction say: “Yes, they had an art, 
back in New York, in the days following 
the Great War, an art that was a vitalized 
part of their life; that mirrored accurately 
their time, with all of its complexities, 
graces, horrors, pleasures, agonies, uncer 
tainties and blessings.” 
Admiringly yours, 
Frank Crowninshield. 
Sinister right—dexter left—superior hypocrecy 
Spirits without light and Don Quixotes 
Arts starboard, red and green port 
without vessel. 
Why change men into animal foeti. 
My tongue becomes a road of snow 
Circles are formed around me 
In bath robe 
Exterior events 
Modern ideas 
Profound artists reunited in canon 
who deceive 
Artists of speech 
Who have only one hole for mouth and anus 
I am the lover of the world 
The lover of unknown persons 
I am looking for a Sun. 
April, 1917.

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