THE PLAYMAKERS AND OUR ART

BY PAUL GREEN

It is recorded in the Bible that Jesus once came upon some fellows lamenting the lack of anything doing. "Cast down your nets where you are," He said. And they did. We know what happened. This is the sort of parable that fits many things, not the least of all the lack and dullness of our section in any form of art, a condition lamented now for many a year. But the lamentations have been in the voice of the Pharisee. They have not been in earnest. Nobody has cried aloud and wept that he was undone.

From its beginning, three hundred years ago, until the present, North Carolina has made no lasting contribution to the art of the world, and what is said of this state can be said of most of our Southern states. Several millions of people have lived and died here, and no one has set himself aside in high-minded and intelligent devotion to record a single one of these lives, nor to propound in the devious ways of art any of the hopes, struggles, disappointments and attainments that made up the sum of their existence. And from knowledge of the past it would seem that such a record is worth while.

This state has never produced a single great work of art. I am not talking about the factories, railroads, agricultural and commercial industries and the many and one creations of what is more or less called the practical mind. In a way they are forms of art too. At least they have their æsthetic side-- their pattern, their fulfilled design and completed function and, in addition, the pleasure resulting to the maker and planner. But one must remember that they have also pro-

-xxvii-

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