Hermann Bahr

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“They hate everyone who tries to be true to himself. That is what they cannot bear. They cannot bear someone to have an opinion or will of their own. They cannot bear the idea that someone should try to be free. Yet they wish they were free themselves but they do not dare. They are secretly ashamed that they are so cowardly so they avenge their bad conscience on the brave”

(Viennese music critic Hermann Bahr, 1909)

Bahr wrote this in his diary when he observed how the independent-minded, iconoclastic composers and artists of his time (such as Gustav Mahler and Gustav Klimt) were denounced and ridiculed in the press and had lies and smears spread everywhere about them. His observation about the secret jealousy of these slanderous critics is most insightful and applicable for all time.

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