Frank Wales replies to me:
>>How many people in the entire country have read even someone as well
>>known as Galway Kinnell or Anna Akhmatova?
>At the risk of appearing to be a philistine: who?
>>How many people have seen a painting by David Hockney or
>>Julian Freud, let alone Turner or Constable?
>Well, I've seen numerous works by all of the above. Does this
>compensate for me not knowing who Kinnell or Akhmatova are?
Philistinism doesn't necessarily enter into it. The point is, why
should we be surprised that not a lot of even college-educated people
know classical music, when a lot of college-educated people don't know
serious art of any kind (and the "college-educated" part is simply a
shorthand way of indicating possibilities of exposure)? Why is classical
music singled out as a special case? I picked names at random, all
considered by *somebody*, at least, significant artists, with lots of
books written by them and about them readily available. And yet
I don't know the reason for this, so I hate to suggest one. Nevertheless,
while I find Allan Kozinn's points intriguing (I think this is how we
got on this in the first place), I can't say I agree with the general
rosy tone of the article. To me, the health of a culture is related to
who's making the money from the art. Artists had better be among those.
If there are a lot of small independent record labels doing interesting
things, do they make money at it? I know at least one terrific small
label that is run as a good deed by its owners. Without the ability to
get a return on investment and time, how long can this state of affairs
last? Obviously, there's not much of a market, so whence Kozinn's joy?