The artist and the monk

“Merton contrasts the illusory freedom of the artist ‘in revolt’ against society, DEFINED by his revolt and limited by it, who ‘cultivates antiart as a protest against the art cult of the society in which he lives’, with the true freedom which the artist should enjoy, ‘freedom from the INTERNALIZED emotional pressures by which society holds hum down’….
the dilemma of the artist is identical with the dilemma of the monk: each, at one level, rejects society, but has to guard against being defined by this rejection… the monk or artist must beware of locating all the demons of the age outside himself: the artist, like the monk, has an interior wilderness to discover”
[Rowan Williams, A Silent Action: Engagements with Thomas Merton, 2011,p.37].

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