Sunday, March 30, 2014

The New Age, March 19 1914

Perhaps the most important (written) piece in this issue is the weekly "Present-Day Criticism," an impassioned plea for the artists to attack the rich in order to aid the poor masses. Extremely relevant to Lawrence Rainey's theses on patronage in modernism. An extreme manifesto, probably aimed at The Egoist and company. Excerpt:

"Attack  these would-be patrons ! They  throw you the change of the gold they wring from the  working class. You could not live on it, though it were one million times as much as  the wretched  pieces you get! There is no life to be  had  through this money-no life that will satisfy the spirit  of a soul gifted by invisible, eternal and watching gods. Destroy your enemies!
Do not--do not  think of the  workers as of slaves! There is no slave-class in England. There is no aris- tocracy in England. The powerful class is the monied class; and this class injures all-poets, musicians, painters,  architects, equally  with the  craftsman  and  the labourer. Attack this class! Attak this sordid and contemptuous plutocracy! Nothing can arise from your spirits while the  incubus of this  class  is allowed to feed upon the  nation’s  energy." (624).

Followed by, no less, the logo of the MJP:

Quick notes from this issue:

"The risks of flying are greatly exaggerated"--Winston Churchill, quoted in "Current Cant."

S. Verdad discusses German anxieties about impending war, pointing to their newspapers which claim that Germany has a lead on Russia (which is mobilizing troops), but will lose it if they do not attack soon. Verdad points out that this is not true.

Romney criticizes the Ulster Volunteers for claiming that they will adopt Boer-style guerrilla tactics in an Irish civil war. Romney thinks that there isn't enough space in Ireland for this to work. Romney is really bad at predicting how wars will go.

Arthur Penty's guild-socialist "Art and Revolution" continues here, with the still-resonant claim that "there is a limit to the quantity of work which any man [sic] can do well". I don't think this tradeoff between quantity of work and quality of work is even an issue anymore: more is better. Solution? "...and the Medieval Guilds provided that this limit should not be passed." SO local regulation of production leads to increased quality. Elegant, outdated even when it was written (or so it seems to me right now).

Richard Curle provides a travel narrative of Egypt. The prevalence of travel narrative is remarkable, perhaps unremarked on?

Beatrice Hastings includes a satirical selection from an unpublished novel, attacking the Fabians.

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