31 MAY 1930, Page 22

THE MODERN POINT OF VIEW [To the Editor of the


Sra,—I have read with interest " Twentieth Century's " letter in defence of the new pylons which have been put up under the Rural Electrification Scheme from Brighton to Offham on the London Road, and so on to Eastbourne.

I, also, have a fairly intimate knowledge of the Sussex Downs. I, also, have spent much of my time for many past years walking on them round Lewes—but, unlike " Twentieth Century," I must confess I did not find the sight of the new pylons " staggeringly beautiful." I read his letter, at first, with amazement. Suddenly I discovered that I agreed with him. By very different routes we arrive at the same con- clusion.

" Twentieth Century " has seen the pylons from a literary, social and scientific point of view.. Seeing the purpose that lies behind the line he finds it magnificent. The line as a line, as part of a design, has left him absolutely untouched. I, as an artist, not seeking the story told, the scientific reasonable- ness, the human significance of the line can find nothing in it to add to the magnificence of the Downs. It is, to me, without -considering the purpose that " Twentieth Century " sees so acutely in it, but a thin, irrelevant thread across the solidity and bulk of the chalk. I find myself forgetting it save from one or two. points of view, where it makes :a piquant pattern with its queer perspective and long slant shadows. Apart from this it leaves me •untouched.

" Twentieth Century " ends his letter :—" There seems to me to be little justification for the complaints that I heard from most people whom I met. Beauty is surely not static " ; and wholeheartedly Iagree with him. There is no justification at all for all the outcry against the pylons. The Downs have stood unchanged in the last 500 years. In 100 years the pylons will be gone. Man will have invented a still more efficient method of transmitting power. In 500 years' time the Downs will probably not stand unchanged. They will be altered and not by a slender line on the surface, but in shape and design, the whole bulk transformed by man for his yet undiscovered use. Then they will have assumed truly a new, a different grandeur and magnificence .of form and intention and design. Beauty is not static.—I am, Sir, &c.,