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The Dignity of Art

By Eduardo Galeano

I write for those who cannot read me: the downtrodden, the ones who have been waiting on line for centuries to get into history, who cannot read a book or afford to buy one.

When I begin to lose heart, it does me good to recall a lesson in the dignity of art which I learned years ago at a theater in Assisi, in Italy. Helena and I had gone to see an evening of pantomime and no one else showed up. The two of us made the entire audience. When the lights dimmed, we were joined by the usher and the ticket seller. Yet despite the fact that there were more people on stage than in the audience, the actors worked as hard as if they were basking in the glory of a full house on opening night. They put their hearts and souls into the performance and it was marvelous.

Our applause shook the empty hall. We clapped until our hands were sore.

Why Theater Makes Us Happy...


This story was perfect for our group because we all enjoy theater. Come on, who doesn't spend their evenings reciting Shakespere into the early dawn? Who doesn't enjoy designing the perfect set to Death of a Saleman? Who doesn't memorize the cast of the 1994 showing of Rent on Broadway?

The "Dignity of Art" pages are presented to you by Crystal Klabbatz, Kristen Jensen, Dennis Johns, and Joseph Hague.

Works Cited

Galeano, Eduardo. The Book of Embraces. Trans. Cedric Belfrage. New York: Norton Company, 1991, (p 155).

Dignity of Art
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