‘Journalism is a profession like any other, and it has no more to do with lit-erary art than any other occupation… In writing for a paper one is writing for a public, and the best work, the only work that in the end counts, is writ-ten for oneself.’ So T. S. Eliot explained in 1919 why he worked for a bank rather than a paper (Letters, I 285). Leonard Woolf, one of whose several careers was spent writing for weekly papers as well as editing them, agreed at the end of his life that journalism was ‘the opiate of the artist; eventually it poisons his mind and his art.’ Woolf’s example was Desmond MacCarthy, but the occupational disease of journalism could infect any writer: journal-ism was written for the moment, not sub specie aeternitatis as serious litera-ture should be; furthermore, journalists were inevitably influenced by the editors they wrote for (BA, pp. 139, 131–3).
KeywordsLiterary History Sexual Prejudice French Literature Common Reader Theatre Review
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