The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 88
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88 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
rich, ethically indefensible; but we who are ethically defensible
as we play our free minds over the cosmos, since we do not
neglect our share of the necessary drudgery of civilization,-we
are the amateurs, the salt of the earth.
True, an amateur may prefer to one large house of life, his
village of a thousand huts. That is the amateur's peril. But
the real amateur builds his great house of life over his village of
a thousand huts. Each hut becomes a window or door in the
greater edifice. Which of these huts shall become the house, the
center of design, the real organic unit, depends upon the amateur,
his heredity, his environment, and upon chance.
The village of a thousand huts has been your writer's peril.
He is interested in everything in the cosmos except sport, social
functions, and the grandstand front of things. But just be-
cause he is not interested in these, ninety-nine of a hundred
can't see that he is interested in anything. Well,-music, poetry,
drama, painting, sculpture, architecture, all science, and each
science, real politics, real religion, real philosophy, real history:
what are these to the ninety and nine ?
Call it chance, heredity, environment, or pure volition, his-
tory has become this amateur's house of life. That is, not merely
literal history, documented and verified; but mainly real his-
tory, the imaginative reconstruction of the past or the forecast-
ing the future through a single fine art, or better, the ensemble
use of many fine arts. But not the whole historic sum of things,
celestial and terrestrial. Even not all America, not all Texas.
Only twenty years of Texas, the pioneer and revolutionary era
from 1820. to 1840. And within these years, just one, the year
1836. And in that year just two months, March and April.
And within these months, just one night, that of March 13,
1836, when at just one place, Gonzales, Sam Houston's army
began its famous retreat, and the people of Texas began their
But from this pin point in time and space, the vistas from
our house of life, through a thousand doors and windows, reach
on and on to the limits of human consciousness again, which are
the limits of the universe, too. At this time, we must close all
the doors except those appropriate to this meeting of the Texas
State Historical Association; that is, the doors to music, drama,
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925, periodical, 1925; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101087/m1/92/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.