Summer 1939 • Vol. I No. 3 Nonfiction |

The Calling of the Tune

The complete autonomy of art could but mean its dissociation from other aspects of the social collectivity. Complete freedom to develop one’s means of communication ends as an impairment of communicability (the dilemma of work done in the Joyce-Stein-transition school). There is a point at which freedom for the artist becomes an embarrassment of riches, since one of the forms of this freedom is freedom from revenues. A piper who had insisted upon the right to call his own tune became unhappy when everyone began saying to him, "I don’t care what tune you play.” He discovered that he wanted them to care tremendously—and to make them do so, he even tried outrageous tunes. Though insisting upon his professional immunity, he didn’t want to be too damned immune, since complete tolerance would imply the unimportance of his craft. He simultaneously wanted separation and integration. He wanted the joyous marriage of "you must” and "I will.” Two recent books, Grace Overmye

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