A FEW days after Mr. Stephen Spender, the poet, walked out during Viscount Samuel's criticism of obscurity in modern verse, Mgr. Ronald Knox, speaking as chief guest at a dinner of the Authors' Club, discussed the growing decadence of the arts under the title "The Suicide of Art."
" This age." he said, " must be called the age of obscurity, the critics not knowing where to lead us nor what it is that leads them."
There is generally to be observed in the art world a kind of inanition. There is a kind of new art criticism in which the critics seem to be not quite sure what it is they are out to criticise. They cannot really lead the public.
Modern poets are out of step with the public. In the novel, the story has given way to a study of one character.
Mgr. Knox's audience included Mgr. Ci. A. T. Tomlinson, Mgr. John Coonan, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the Spanish Ambassador, and Fr. Philip Harvey. Mr. Laurence Meynell presided.