Page:Rolland - People's Theater.djvu/75

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to the promoters of that scheme: "Take care. They are bored." And they replied: "But they applaud." They might almost have answered: "Let them be bored, provided they applaud!" And now they cease to come at all. I repeat again: "Take care. They applaud, but they are bored. They have come to see, but when they have come two, three, five, ten times, when they have seen what your classics are, your miserable handful of classics, they will cease to come." So would I. So do I. Yes, I admire the great classics, with the best of my intelligence. I fed upon them during ten years of my youth, and I often turn to them now when I am tired of life. But how far they are from this life, from my worries, my dreams, and my daily struggle for existence! As M. Faguet recently said, "What is admirable and what is interesting are two very different things." The sincere disciples of the classic writers do not deny that this difference exists, but they bravely maintain that interest is not an essential element in art. "I should say," declares M. Maurice Pottecher, "that one might even feel a little bored with a work of art, without ceasing to admire it and sensing its perfection. The sensation aroused by Æschylus, Aristophanes, Dante, Shakespeare, is far from the sentimental pleasure derived from a work capable of moving us to tears. But is a successful farce or a good melodrama better than The Wasps or Hamlet?"[1] Alas, it would at least enjoy the stupendous advantage over these master-

  1. In the Revue d'art dramatique, March 15. 1903.