And Dad said, very seriously, "Suzannah, many artists insist on making art for art's sake, but when you grow up, you need to realise that it's very important to produce a beautiful work of art, and then sell it for as much as you can get for it."
At the time I didn't understand all the philosophical ramifications to this question and its answer. All this time later, I can only say that Dad gave me the right advice. Commercial viability is an indispensable aspect of Christian art.
In saying this I don't mean that art must be limited to the utilitarian. Rather I mean that it must be produced in response to demand. I mean this in two ways.
Second, art must be commercially valuable because if it is worth spending lots of time on, then the artist has both the right (1 Timothy 5:18) and the duty (v 8) to realise its commercial value to support himself and his family. The Christian artist is a craftsman, a workman, not the brooding, lonely ubermensch of the Romantic imagination. The Christian artist is a businessman, and usually an anonymous one. Bach only became a celebrity centuries after a life spent cranking out cantatas to support his large family. His disciplined approach to his art mirrored that of the craftsman of medieval times, whose gigantic genius peeps out from the pages of illuminated manuscripts, glows from stained-glass windows, and writhes in carven wood, always giving the glory to God rather than self. By contrast the modern artist is too often a celebrity who works when inspiration strikes, often heavily subsidised by government, to produce incomprehensible works.
|Something's going on at Kia!|
Which is a long way of bringing us to the point of this post, which is that Vintage Novels will now be providing affiliate links to the Book Depository, my favourite place to buy new books, to Audible, a major audiobook provider, and to one or two others if my applications go through. Reviewing books may not be much of an Art, but in keeping with family tradition and religious principle, I will be trying to get some money out of it. Purchases made within the relevant time of clicking on one of the affiliate links at Vintage Novels will earn me a small commission. These links will be available up on the sidebar, and also at the bottom of each post, together with shiny new buttons for Project Gutenberg and Librivox, referring you to which has never earned me money and never will. My only regret is the annoying white border around the buttons, which I hope my tech man can fix.