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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 4, No. 2. March 26, 1941

Not without Dust and Heat

Not without Dust and Heat.

Thus the difference between the work, say, of Landseer and Daumier is not so much one of aesthetic appreciation as that between two views of life and society. Even in music such a work as Beethoven's 9th Symphony was an eloquent a proclamation of universal brotherhood as was the Declaration of the Rights of Man. I do not know of any of the great English poets whose work did not contain biting and bitterly resented polemics on the social problems of his day. It was Milton, perhaps the greatest of them, who wrote "I prize not overmuch a secluded and cloistered virtue, untested and unbreathed, that never sallied forth and sought its adversary but shrank from the race where that immortal garland is to be run for—not without dust and heat."

The artist who looks upon a whole civilisation in the pangs of death or birth, mutters "politics" in a pained voice and turns away to an ecstatic contemplation of his own erotic abnormalities is not only abandoning his responsibilities as a member of society by surrendering all hope of creating anything of artistic value.