quarta-feira, 15 de junho de 2011

To Read the Iliad

This, for Tolstoy, opens the path to regeneration, and is the proper function of art. Vocation - talent - is obedience to an inner need: to fulfil it is the artist's purpose and his duty. Nothing is more false than the view of the artist as a purveyor, or a craftsman whose sole function is to create a beautiful thing, as Flaubert, or Renan, or Maupassant mantain. There is only one human goal, and it is equally binding on all men, landowners, doctors, barons, professors, bankers, peasants: to tell the truth, and be guided by it in action, that is, to do good, and to persuade others to do so. That God exists, or the Iliad is beautiful, or that men have a right to be free and also equal, are all eternal and absolute truths. Therefore we must persuade men to read the Iliad and not pornographic French novels, and to work for an equal society, not a theocratic or political hierarchy.

Isaiah Berlin, "Tolstoy and Enlightenment"
in Russian Thinkers. Penguin, Londres: 2008.

Sem comentários:

Enviar um comentário