Art works speak not only to their own time but to worlds beyond, to future generations, to a mass society connected by international communications that their creators could not suspect would ever come into being.

Which does 'that' refer to, 'international communications' or 'a mass society (connected by internatinal communications)'?

I think it's 'international communications', but I'm not sure on this one...
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Hello, Taka!

I'd say it refers either to "international communications" (the nearest to "that"), or to the whole, from "worlds beyond" to "international communications" (the creators couldn't imagine any of them ever coming into being).

Artists have always understood that their work has the potential to reach 'far afield'. Even Van Gogh, who sold only one painting during his lifetime (and it was his brother who bought it), knew -- and we know that he knew (from the letters he wrote) -- that he was painting for history. But no artist before the computer age likely had a concept of international, communication in the form we enjoy today. It is that form of international connectedness that I believe is the reference here.

In other words, one has to look at the suspect term 'that' with more than a grammatical eye.
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If my memory serves me right, you are an artist as well. Am I right?

Very persuasive your answer is. I think it was definitely your kind of question.

Thank you!
You're right, Davkett.

I'm practising taking off my grammar specs and putting them back on, Emotion: smile
Taka Am I right?
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Do you make a living by it, may I ask?

Dear friends,

It is not I think a precise utterance. What «worlds beyond» may mean, I do not pretend to know. But we may suppose that creators of art works knew that «future generations» would exist. We may also suppose that «mass society» and «international communications» are not new. The combination and extent of both, however, is perhaps new.

Therefore I submit that the referent of «that» is «a mass society connected by international communications».

I submit also that the correct tense is «their creators could not have suspected would ever come into being». Emotion: smile

Kind regards, Emotion: smile

(I would prefer to say, 'I make a life by it.')

What do you do for making a living, Taka?
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