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INTRODUCTION                     xvii
young art-student, Trevor Haddon, — "In your own art, bow your head over technique. Think of technique when you rise and when you go to bed. Forget purposes in the meanwhile; get to love technical processes, to glory in technical successes; get to see the world entirely through technical spectacles, to see it entirely in terms of what you can do. Then when you have anything to say, the language will be apt and copious."
In the present book, Madame Yvette Guilbert expounds the basic principles of the art of dramatic and lyric interpretation, — an art of which she is an absolute and perfect master. This treatise is intended primarily as a manual of craftsmanship, for the benefit of beginners who aspire to follow in her footsteps. But, to me at least, the volume has a deeper meaning and teaches a more important lesson; for it demonstrates conclusively that tech­nical accomplishment is made, not born, — that it can and must be learned, and can be taught.
This is a lesson that is sorely needed at the present time, when an anarchic group of so-called "critics" is springing up to celebrate an anarchic group of so-called "artists" who noisily pretend that tech­nique is of no account, because they are too lazy to acquire it. The heresy that anybody can express himself spontaneously without having mastered, by previous practice, an articulate medium of expression cannot be too utterly condemned.
It is scarcely necessary, in this place, to state that Madame Yvette Guilbert is the finest artist, living in the world to-day, who does anything of

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III