House of Fools

What is it that guides the Artist? Is it the aspiration to change life?

Passionate young hearts often see themselves as the Messiah. Just a few do not lose illusions about themselves as their hairlines are receding. And nevertheless the Artist continues to create, of course, unless he loses his potency. Potency is a need for creating, producing, and self-expression even though you realize the futility of your efforts and you are aware that a spectator or a reader having seen a great play or a film, or having read a great book, would sit with dreamy eyes and an enchanted smile for only a few minutes and then quickly come back from that 'wonderland' into the dank dampness of the chilly night, get lost in a crowd of indifferent, if not hostile, strangers and will get on a coach of reality with all the stops, praying that no one would step on his toes or, Lord forbid, throw him out of the window at full speed.

Do you recall Chekhov's The Seagull? As for me, I do. And do you remember what the critics wrote about it? No? Isn't it strange? In a certain way the Artist is lucky, because, as a rule, critical articles are published in newspapers, which practical people use for stuffing their shoes for storage. But though we don't remember what the critics wrote about The Seagull, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov did remember it very well! He swore (in hysterics) that he'd never write for the theatre in his life…And what did the Swedish critics write about Bergman, the left-wing Italian critics about Fellini? Where are all these articles, who reads them now?

As for me, I would forbid all critical articles except the ones exclusively on me and, no doubt, only the positive ones.

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