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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
On Theatrical Managers in Relation to Art
By Hector Berlioz (1803–1869)
 
From Berlioz’s Autobiography

I HAVE often wondered why theatrical managers everywhere have such a marked predilection for what genuine artists, cultivated minds, and even a certain section of the public itself persist in regarding as very poor manufacture, short-lived productions, the handiwork of which is as valueless as the raw material itself. Not as though platitudes always succeeded better than good works; indeed, the contrary is often the case. Neither is it that careful compositions entail more expense than “shoddy.” It is often just the other way. Perhaps it arises simply from the fact that the good works demand the care, study, attention, and, in certain cases, even the mind, talent, and inspiration of every one in the theatre, from the manager down to the prompter. The others, on the contrary, being made especially for lazy, mediocre, superficial, ignorant, and silly people, naturally find a great many supporters. Well! a manager likes, above everything, whatever brings him in amiable speeches and satisfied looks from his underlings, he likes things that require no learning and disturb no accepted ideas or habits, which gently go with the stream of prejudice, and wound no self-love, because they reveal no incapacity; in a word, things which do not take too long to get up.  1
 
 
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