Letter: A valuable search for authenticity

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The Independent Online
Sir: Bryan Appleyard is indulging in a little late-summer laziness when he says that, in the Sixties, we were: possessed by a romantic intellectual error . . . the belief that the self is a pure, pre-social entity, which life, society and culture distort and sully.

This belief is no more in error that is the simple truth that a fine piece of pottery starts out its life as a lump of wet clay, which the potter's hands 'distort' as the wheel relentlessly turns.

What was being rejected in the Sixties was the heavy larding of fanciful curlicues, applied layer upon layer by the heavy hand of the society and culture of the time, not the art of the potter in creating something of value out of a piece of lumpy wet clay.

Yours faithfully,




7 July