An online version of a major newspaper has a discussion piece in its arts section. The piece talks about strains of elitism versus populism in the arts. Two writers are invited to give their thoughts. One writer believes that what might be considered elitist in the present is often times popular years later. For him it is a matter of time. A second writer believes the two terms are connected with belief sets. She feels the two strains can work together.
- The contrast amongst elitism and populism may better be comprehended as a distinction in an essayist’s mentality toward time.
- The last time this civil argument ruled American letters was the 1930s, when the Depression at home and the ascent of one party rule in Europe drove most scholarly individuals to positions on the left
- No big surprise these issues are starting to be brought again up in the period of Trump, as the division between “genuine Americans” and “waterfront elites” is by all accounts extending into a pit.
“The question that divided them was whether political virtue meant writing about and for “the people” — as followers of the Popular Front, a Communist-inspired coalition of left groups, believed — or whether the most radical and progressive work was necessarily too difficult for mass consumption.”