The arts and market forces


Sir, – The depth and complexity of humanity are rarely explored in popular entertainment, in part because it is difficult to do so, but mostly because the superficial stuff looks, and often is, more fun. Away with all that loathed melancholy; joys may be vain and deluding, but they are joys nonetheless.

Hence the problem for the arts. They may be central to our culture and to our humanity, but they can also be hard work and, at least until you get into them, a bit boring.

A play which is rich in art may fail commercially, and many commercially successful plays lack artistic merit.

The problem for Irish artists isn’t that the people in charge of cultural institutions are not Irish, but that the people in charge don’t have the power or the wherewithal to stand against market forces alone.

It’s not less foreign influence that’s needed, but more public funding. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.