Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Grace Williams

Letter No.: 

The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

...nice letter to me.
Have a good holiday - I wonder if you will go abroad.
I've just been reading Dent's life of Busoni1 - very interesting - but too many sneers at the "inarticulate" English - what people don't realize is that every nation (community) has got to have an artistic medium of its own - they can't take on some one else's ready made - their creation is at the bottom of all artistic life - for if the artistic medium does not lead to creativeness
(1) there is something wrong about the medium
or (2) there is no creativeness in the nation (community) & that therefore all artistic activity should cease as something alien to their nature - I don't believe in an art which is the privileged possession of a few dilettantes who can afford to go to Salzburg & Bayreuth. "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world & lose his own soul"2
Love from
Uncle Ralph

1. Edwrad J. Dent, Ferruccio Busoni (Oxford University Press, 1933).
2. Quotation from the New Testament; Mark 8: 36.


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General notes: 

Written after 1933, when Dent's book on Busoni was published, and before 1935 when the headed notepaper changed.