Since there is not much on which to rest our hopes for a better world, and since everything else seems to fail one way or another, we must somehow maintain that literature is the only form of moral insurance that a society has; that it is the permanent antidote to the dog-eat-dog principle; that it provides the best argument against any sort of bulldozer-type mass solution–if only because human diversity is literature’s lock and stock, as well as its raison d’être. We must talk because we must insist that literature is the greatest–surely greater than any creed–teacher of human subtlety, and that by interfering with literature’s natural existence and with people’s ability to learn literature’s lessons, a society reduces its own potential, slows sown the pace of it evolution, ultimately, perhaps, puts its own fabric in peril.

Joseph Brodsky, “The Condition We Call Exile, or Acorns Aweigh”

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