Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Poet as Prophet, Art as Medicine

The artist must prophesy not in the sense that he foretells things to come, but in the sense that he tells his audience, at the risk of their displeasure, the secrets of their own hearts.

But what he has to utter is not, as the individualistic theory of art would have us think, his own secrets. As spokes(person) of the community, the secrets he must utter are theirs.

The reason why they need him is that no community altogether knows its own heart; and by falling in this knowledge a community deceives itself on the one subject concerning which ignorance means death. For the evils which come from that ignorance the poet as prophet suggests no remedy, because he has already given one. the remedy is the poem itself.

Art is the community's medicine for the worst disease of the mind, thie corruption of consciousness.

--from R. G. Collingwood

As noted by editors John Mc Cormick and Mairi Mac Innes,

Versions of Censorship ~~ An Anthology

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