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Art used to be about the objective and transcendent, specifically beauty, though truth was not excluded. Now it is about originality and personal expression. We have, as C.S. Lewis would have said, put second things first, and when you put second things first, as he also said, you lose both first and second things.

There is a place for personal expression and originality in art. All who create ought to show forth the same Beauty, but each casts his own veneer on it, each has his own view of it, as in worship many voices shout forth the same Truth. But the goal must ever be the Truth, not the Voice; the Beauty, not the originality. When we put first things first, as Lewis says, we will get second things thrown in; each will proclaim Truth and draw out Beauty in his own unique way. But if we focus on the uniqueness of the artist or the messenger and lose sight of the sameness of Beauty and Truth, we lose Beauty and Truth themselves, as well as the unique value of the artist or messenger.

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