In 1944 Henry Miller penned “Of Art and the Future,” an essay on war, art, technology, the role of women in society, and mankind’s future.
Miller envisions a future where:
“…books will be a thing of the past. There was a time when poets communicated with the world without the medium of print; the time will come when they will communicate silently, not as poets merely, but as seers. What we have overlooked, in our frenzy to invent more dazzling ways and means of communication, is to communicate.”
The problem, as ever, for the modern writer is to be original, while still retaining the forms and conventions of previous writers. The completely original voice is likely to look isolated, or become so in the future, to look dated when at its zenith it was ‘modern’
Effective change happens slowly:
“…the advance will not come through the use of subtler mechanical devices, nor will it come through the spread of education. The advance will come in the form of a breakthrough. New forms of communication will be established. New forms presuppose new desires. The great desire of the world today is to break the bounds which lock us in. It is not yet a conscious desire. Men do not yet realise what they are fighting for. This is the beginning of a long fight, a fight from within outwards.”
“There is nothing but art, if you look at it properly. It is almost banal to say so yet it needs to be stressed continually: all is creation, all is change, all is flux, all is metamorphosis. “