It is the duty of a writer to devote his energy to the search for truth

notes

A writer must be a lie-detector who exposes the fallacies in words and ideals

Within his talent it is the duty of a writer to devote his energy to the search for truth, the truth that is always being clouded over by romantic words and ideas or obscured by actions and motives dictated by interest and fear. In the love of truth which leads to a knowledge of it lies not only the hope of humanity but its safety. Deep down we feel that, as every human being has a right to air and water, so he has a right to food, clothing, light, heat, work, education, love and leisure… A writer can help to liberate that knowledge and to unmask those pretenders which accompany all human plans for improvement: the love of power and money, the short-sighted acquisitive passions, the legacies of injustice and ignorance… A writer must be a lie-detector who exposes the fallacies in words and ideals before half the world is killed for them. It may even be necessary for the poet to erect a bomb-proof ivory tower from which he can continue to celebrate the beauty which the rest of mankind will be too guilty, hungry, angry or arid to remember… The artist of to-day must bear a wound – “cette blessure,” according to Gide, “qu’il douleureuse et saignante, cette blessure au contact de l’affreux réalité.”

(That wound which we must never allow to heal but which must always remain painful and bleeding, the gash made by contact with hideous reality.)

by Cyril Connolly (September 10, 1903 – November 26, 1974)
from Enemies of Promise (1938)
Chapter 18
image – ground.zero

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