Page:Rolland - People's Theater.djvu/150

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nowadays, for it is rooted in the suffering, the doubt, and the aspirations of the present generation. It goes hand-in-hand with actual deeds. There are those who criticize it for this very reason, claiming that it is no longer disinterested art. But I admire it because it is not, and I have furnished reasons for my preference. Happy is the age of quiet, when quiet works may be written! But when the age is a troubled one, and the nation is in the throes of struggle, it is the duty of art to struggle with it, inspiring and guiding it, protecting it, and combating prejudice. I have heard people complain of the violent excesses into which art will fall if it takes this road. This is not the fault of art, but of the wrongs which it will have exposed, which must be done away with. It is not the purpose of art to reconcile and pacify, but to intensify life, render it stronger, greater, and better. Art is the enemy of all the enemies of life. If love and peace are its aim, there are times none the less when hatred is in order. "Hatred is a good thing," once remarked a workingman of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine to a lecturer who had been bursting his lungs trying to prove that all hatred is bad. "Hatred is just, for it rallies the oppressed to give battle against the oppressor. When I see a man domineering over other men, my indignation is aroused, and I hate him. I hate him, and I feel that my hatred is right." He who does not hate evil cannot love good, and he who can look at injustice without attempting to rectify it is neither a true artist nor a true man. The