THE question is often being raised—why is it that there has been no outburst of art as a result of the period of stress through which Europe passed in the Great War? But this question seems to me to be based on an assumption which is entirely erroneous. A period of stress never does produce great art. To start with, the artist is not subject for his mental excitement to any extraneous occurrence: he is dependent on the impulse within him, not on external excitement. It is there. In any other condition of life and in any other period of history the artist would still be an artist. Take Wordsworth for example. At the time when he was producing the great bulk of his philosophic poetry, he was living the life almost of a recluse at Grasmere, watching but not participating in the march of events in the outside world. The poetic spirit in him was self‐nourishing, and did not need any such adventitious stimulus as was to be derived from playing a part in the stirring events which were going on in the world at that time.
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