25 OCTOBER 1940, Page 14


Sta,—The survival of culture in these days is of the first importance; but is not Mr. Forster pleading for a special sort of culture, which may or may not be valid in the future? For culture is not merely the enjoyment of certain forms, aural, visual or verbal, but, at bottom, a passionate search for the truth. All works of art are synthese= of the truth, the results of analyses which emerge in various forms. Enjoyment is merely a by-product—as, possibly, " beauty " is--because the enjoyment is in the recognition of truth, a desire for which cNists in every man.

A problem, which must have been the concern of everyone who in the last few years has followed the arts, has been the apparent gulf growing between art and the ordinary man. Is not this perhaps because our life has been more and more based on lies: and is not the decay of art in the sense of its being a popular vehicle due to the fact that the popular formi, the cinema and other things, are disseminators of lies? The artist now is in rebellion against all this falsehood, and while it is not true that culture is unwanted, it is true that the olier culture today finds few people to recognise its truth.-1 am, Sir)