Art: Enfant Terrible at 50

In the arts, as elsewhere, there are some enfants terribles whose public image gets trapped in infancy. Whether or not such an artist really is Peter Pan, he is apt to be treated as though he were; a precocious reputation stiffens round him like a coffin, immuring him in the period of his youth. He is not expected to mature, but simply to become an older virtuoso, so that all his later work risks being dismissed as an appendage to the earlier. If he accepts this role, it grips him, and he turns into a vulgar monster—something like Salvador Dali. If...

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