Hemingway on artists and artistic schools

A quote from Death in the Afternoon:

“All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures.”

The others have the authority of all the world on their side, but they are not you, and no one has your potential — with all the responsibility that entails — than you. Emerson said something similar in his middle age or old age. Looking back on his early life, he said something like “that boy was right and all the world was wrong.”

Remember that, young artist, working on your own, struggling to believe in your own gift and your own responsibility.

One thought on “Hemingway on artists and artistic schools

  1. Thanks for posting this quote, Frank; it’s an important one for me to remember. Whether I’m doing my art (as a not-so-young artist), or my explorations of consciousness, I’m finding it behooves me to set aside much of the “commonly-accepted wisdom” of the “experts” and authorities; again, those w/ all those important-sounding letters after their names.


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