An Artistic Clerisy

“Composers, artists, or architects in a compound began to have the instincts of the medieval clergy, much of whose activity was devoted exclusively to separating itself from the mob. For mob, substitute bourgeoisie—and here you have the spirit of avant-gardism in the twentieth century. Once inside a compound, an artist became part of a clerisy, to use an old term for an intelligentsia with clerical presumptions” (Tom Wolfe, From Bauhaus to Our House, p. 14).

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