A Dialogue with Matthew Arnold
Let me please introduce Matthew Arnold, our greatest guest of this evening here at the program ofthe BBC called “Literary Shipwreck”. We are very glad to see him again. It has been a long time since the last time we saw him alive, in fact, we thought that he died 122 years ago... But that’s nottrue as we can see now. He decided to go to the well-known island called “The Island of the Famous” where lots of known people (like Elvis or Walt Disney) goes when they decide to retire.
Me (SydBarrett) I have prepared an especial interview with this poet, teacher, writer and critic. We are going to receive some questions from the past and everything will be entertained with some songs thatI have specially chosen. So here we go! Let’s start the interview with a song called “How many more times” from Led Zeppelin
(Syd Barrett) – Hello Mr. Arnold. How are you?
(Matthew Arnold) – Hithere. I’m too old to speak too much but I’ll do my best to answer your politically correct questions, those which aren’t good questions will be ignored.
(Barrett) – Oh! Good vibrations!... ok...first of all, what can you tell us about the island where you live? Is that a good place for high culture people?
(Arnold) – Well, the truth is that not all the famous are people who have studied.That makes me think that my idea of illuminated people as leaders of the society was wrong, or at least, it still hasn’t been reached.
(Barrett) - But, as far as I see, you say that the curiosityof watching things as they are is the beginning of a cultural study, is that wrong?
(Arnold) – Not at all. In the first chapter of my book I talk about curiosity as a way of living.
(Barrett) –But think, every children is curious if you leave him on his own so the only thing we have to do is to educate them to keep the same curiosity that they had, don’t you think so? From my point of view...