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Toward Recovery

Paul Johnson

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Historian Paul Johnson writes on what it would take to restore the arts.

There has been something like a collapse of the arts in the 20th century-or so, I suspect, future historians will judge-and what we must look for, early in the Third Millennium, is a process of recovery. The whole of history teaches that men and women cannot live without art, and that art must be as good as they can make it. They were engaging in art long before they could write, perhaps even before they could communicate with one another fluently through speech. Art they must have; it is a human craving almost as strong as the need for food, drink, and sleep. If they are deprived of art-good art-for long, as sometimes happens in history, the craving, far from disappearing, becomes stronger than ever, and artists, often great artists, promptly arise to satisfy it.

For the complete article go to the National Review Online.



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