[Ads-l] "All art is propaganda."

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 18 01:54:12 UTC 2014


There is also "All art is political."

Hathi alleges an example from 1943 in the little magazine "Voices," but
doesn't allow a look.

LeRoi Jones, notably, in _Cleveland Plain Dealer_ (May 23, 1971): "All art
is political. 'Hello Dolly' is political. It's a tract. The society is in
tune with it. It reconstructs the same order that exists."


JL



On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "All art is propaganda."
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> George Orwell repeated the phrase without attribution in his essay on
> Dickens, first published (it seems) in _Inside the Whale and Other Essays_
> (London Gollancz,1940), p.66:
>
> "But every writer, especially every novelist, has a message, whether he
> admits it or not, and the minutest details of his work are influenced by
> it. All art is propaganda."
>
> Orwell now usually gets credit.
>
> Sinclair repeated his dictum as late as 1960: "My thesis is that all art is
> propaganda. If it's for the established institutions of a country, it's
> [called] great art. If it's against them, it's called propaganda."
>
> As a reviewer of Sinclair's _Mammonart_ observed in 1925, it is difficult
> to detect the precise propaganda message of Poe's "The Bells" or Dvorak's
> "Humoresque."
>
> The pernicious message of both, of course, is that art is innocent. Remind
> me to ban them from the Worker's Paradise once it's up and running.
>
> JL
>
> On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 8:00 AM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
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> > Poster:       Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Re: "All art is propaganda."
> >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > So do we credit the phrase to Guy Pene du Bois?
> >
> > DanG
> >
> > On Sun, Nov 16, 2014 at 1:02 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
> > adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
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> > > Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> > > Subject:      Re: "All art is propaganda."
> > >
> > >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > Here is a precursor to Upton Sinclair's statement in 1918 expressed
> > > tentatively instead of emphatically.
> > >
> > > Issue Date: February 1918
> > > Periodical: Arts & Decoration
> > > Article: Notes of the Studies and Galleries,
> > > Star Page 165, Quote Page 165,
> > > Publisher: Dexter W. Hewitt at Adam Budge, Inc.
> > > Database: Google Books Full View
> > >
> > >
> >
> http://books.google.com/books?id=hhbnAAAAMAAJ&q=%22if+all+art%22#v=snippet&
> > >
> > > [Begin excerpt]
> > > Yet we sometimes wonder if all art is not propaganda--political or
> > > spiritual and always egotistic.
> > > [End excerpt]
> > >
> > > Garson
> > >
> > > On Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 8:03 PM, Jonathan Lighter
> > > <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > > -----------------------
> > > > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > > > Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> > > > Subject:      Re: "All art is propaganda."
> > > >
> > >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > >
> > > > That occurred to me too, but I don't see a ref. in GB or Hathi.
> > > >
> > > > Prob. Marx said something more prolix.
> > > >
> > > > JL
> > > >
> > > > On Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 6:13 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net>
> > wrote:
> > > >
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> > > >> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > > >> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> > > >> Subject:      Re: "All art is propaganda."
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > >>
> > > >> At 11/15/2014 04:57 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >> >Not in YBQ, but it gets 30,000 raw Googlits.  I recently read it
> in a
> > > >> movie
> > > >> >review.
> > > >> >
> > > >> >1925 Upton Sinclair _Mammonart_ (Pasadena: pub. by the author) 9:
> All
> > > art
> > > >> >is propaganda. It is universally and inescapably propaganda;
> > sometimes
> > > >> >unconsciously, but often deliberately, propaganda.
> > > >> >
> > > >> >Rather a dilute meaning of "propaganda," wouldn't you say? The
> > relevant
> > > >> OED
> > > >> >def. is
> > > >> >
> > > >> >"The systematic dissemination of information, esp. in a biased or
> > > >> >misleading way, in order to promote a political cause or point of
> > view.
> > > >> >Also: information disseminated in this way; the means or media by
> > which
> > > >> >such ideas are disseminated."
> > > >> >
> > > >> >Sinclair seems to mean rather that all art exerts some influence on
> > > >> >beliefs, willy-nilly.  As dothose who repeat the assertion (usu.
> > > without
> > > >> >attribution).
> > > >>
> > > >> Sinclair was a utopian, left-wing, progressive Democrat, Socialist,
> > > >> Wobbly-supporting pinko, wasn't he?  "All art is propaganda" is
> > > >> something I could imagine said by Karl Marx.
> > > >>
> > > >> Joel
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> >Factoid:  Wackipedia calls the book-length essay _Mammonart_ a
> > "novel."
> > > >> >
> > > >> >JL
> > > >> >
> > > >> >
> > > >> >--
> > > >> >"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> > > >> truth."
> > > >> >
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> > > >
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>
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
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>



-- 
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