Words Against Time

The New Fugitive is an online journal that purposes to bring to the public creative artifacts and criticism evaluated on aesthetic criteria. A collaborative enterprise of artists from the Southern Occident, it aspires to the elevation of artistic accomplishment in public esteem irrespective of political penumbra or ideological prepossession.

We have selected for our masthead the name The New Fugitive to reflect our sympathetic view on the erstwhile Fugitive Poets, who fled the death of one civilization into the birth of another, as now do we. Ourselves creators and critics, we fly from the powers that would politicize all human creative activity and place all thought under the subjection of ideological ends. The origin of the present publication springs from our conversations on the dominance of politics in Western societies and our convictions concerning the role of art in the recovery of social well-being. We have in view the objective of fostering art and criticism that attains to permanent values—that is “against time,” running counter to the preeminent regard for aesthetic fashion.

Out of step with our times, we flee from the effete political and curatorial sensibility that has taken captive the life of the artist in the contemporary West and South, and turn decisively from the commonplace promulgation of non-aesthetic evaluative criteria. True to calling, we would not limit ourselves necessarily to the narrow aims of the seminal Fugitive publication (in its rejection of a parochial and sentimental view of the South). Rather, we would eschew all historicism in favor of an a-temporal vantage. We do not intend that this publication be viewed as narrowly sectarian, nor to promote any “ideas” as such. Conviction will be implicitly manifest in our art, and in our views on art, in organic relation.

The New Fugitive will essay no social criticism or political programme. Instead, we shall confine ourselves to a confrontation with time and fashion in the arena of beauty. Nor should our undertaking be understood as historical in any sense relating to the location of an ideal or paradigmatic canon. Accordingly, we recognize that creative escape into history is unfruitful and will result merely in imitation and, finally, in academicism, not in restoration or the birth of creative life. This aesthetic revolt against modernity (not to be conflated with modern-ism or contemporaneity) situates us within the ecology of the teleological purpose of human life: that man is constituted qua man, in the right old sense of that word, and that the broad esteem of art of great accomplishment is a public good, a magnum bonum, and will result in the edification and cultivation of the public taste.

— The Editorial Board, The New Fugitive

Additional Reading:

Eliot, T.S.; Tradition and the Individual Talent.

Tate, Allen; Emily and Her Biographer.

Brooks, Cleanth; The Well-Wrought Urn.


Author: John Marshall

Managing editor of The New Fugitive, poet, essayist, aphorist, knight errant, and bon vivant of the Decline and Fall.

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