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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: tenth anniversary issue

[We are ten years old],   pp. [1]-6 PDF (6.1 MB)

Page 5

printing. It is not the voice of a narrow
intellectualism, but a survey of what is
moving and shaking the whole field of the
arts. It is still University-based; but in that
association it finds its stabilization, its
soundness, which enable it to make its
distinctive contribution to the continuing
discussion of the art of our time.
a valentine out of season
by Peter Yates
Mr. Yates has been a long-time member
of the advisory board and is now a
contributing editor. One of our most
prolific writers - poetry, book reviews, and
articles - he has appeared in almost
every issue. He is the author of An
Amateur at the Keyboard, and Twentieth
Century Music, and is widely held to be one
of America's most perceptive critics of
contemporary music. He was recently
appointed chairman of the music department
at Buffalo college of the State University
of New York.
I quarrel with editors but seldom with the
editor of Arts in Society.
Too many editors believe that their
responsibility extends to telling their
contributors what they wish and how it
should be said. The editor becomes a
censor and the magazine his personal
vehicle. We see the result all around us,
topical subjects with a current slant set
forth in journalese; even worse are the
academic outpourings in jargon.
A good editor finds and trusts writers; he
doesn't interfere with or instruct them.
He may point out non-sequiturs and
redundancies and, tactfully, improve
syntax or grammar. He distinguishes
between competent idiosyncrasy and
flabbiness. He will know how, when
necessary, to bring the author back to the
shaping of his point. He seeks not
material - so much by the word - but
individuality, ideas. He is fertile in seeding
and seeds wisely where the soil is fertile.
He does not fear risk. He makes policy
but does not inflict it; the fruit of his
seeking freshens in unexpected places. A
good editor is not a censor but a liberator.
The steady growing of Arts in Society, both
in size and pertinence, proves the sure
decision, gumption, courage, and
independence of its editor and editorial
a birthday greeting
by Albert Bermel
Mr. Bermel is a contributing editor and has
written many articles for us on various
aspects of the performing arts. He is the
theatre critic of The New Leader, lecturer
in dramatic arts at Columbia University, and
the author of a number of professionally
produced plays.
During a criminal trial, that most eloquent
British lawyer, F. E. Smith, began to
illustrate a minor point of law with a
wealth of precedents and subtle examples.
The presiding judge, who had asked Smith
to elaborate in the first place, fidgeted
through the recital and finally tried to
brush it aside: "Mr. Smith, after all that
technical explanation, the court is no
"No wiser, my lord," said Smith, "but
better informed."
Arts in Society does not, it seems to me,
presume to enhance the wisdom of its
audience - a futile task, anyway. Rather it
aims to illuminate unfamiliar corners. of
our citizenship as providers and consumers
of art. As a reader, I delight in its
frankness, informality, variety, social
concerns and its elegant design, issue by
issue, but most of all perhaps in the quality
and generosity of its information. As a
contributor, I respect the editors as warmly
as they clearly respect their readers.
Which is to say that I welcome every chance
to write for this magazine and wish us
both everlasting life.
a projection
by Norman Rice
Mr. Rice is an advisory editor and has
contributed several pieces on the problems
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