Dora Marsden on The New Year


1845-1945, Dora Marsden, Historical Work, The Egoist 1914, Trevor Blake / Tuesday, January 1st, 2019
A timely excerpt from “I Am” by Dora Marsden, first published in The Egoist Volume 2 Number 1 (January 1st, 1915). – Trevor Blake

The beginning of the New Year will serve as a sufficient apology f0r stating afresh the ambi­tions of this journal and detailing what one considers to be its unique a n d supremely important task: one for the execution of which we can see no evidence of minds other than our own being forth­coming. There are, we very willingly admit, men of almost infinitely greater attainments in “scholar­ship,” and for such a task as ours “scholars” must of necessity be the untiring hodmen: the willing and directed servants. But of minds possessing the cold courage which can go forward and advance up to and through those mirages of flame and rage as they appear on the hither side: but which prove but echoes of a weak thin sound when they are traversed: of such minds the appearance is rare. When they do appear they find their own work, and that work accomplished establishes a new era. After they are gone—these directing minds—minds of a different order—stuffed minds, scholarly minds, begin to dis­burse their heavy stores upon the lines they have laid down. The stored rubbish then becomes invaluably useful treasure: what was purposeless will become vibrant with purpose. So it will be, long after “The Egoist” has become a thing of the past. Meanwhile it has its unique work to do, ill-equipped in all acces­sories as it is, and armed only with the one thing essential. Let this, then, be the answer to those friends who have been good enough to say that “The Egoist‘s” activities are all derailed and are willing to pray that the journal might die, if by dying the “remarkable abilities” of the writer might have a chance of “coming into their own.”