The Artist in his Time, The Wager of our Generation

 The aim of Art, and the aim of life can only be to increase the sum of freedom and responsibility to be found in every man and in the world. It cannot, under any circumstances, be to reduce or suppress that freedom, even temporarily. There are works of art that tend to make man conform and convert to some external rule. Others tend to expose him to whatever is worst in him, to terror and to hatred. Such works are valueless to me. No Great Work has ever been based on hatred or contempt. On the contrary, there is not a single “True work of Art” that has not in the end added to the inner freedom of each person who has known and loved it. Yes, that is the freedom I am extolling, and it helps me through life. An artist may make a success or failure of his life. But if he can tell himself, finally, as a result of his long effort, he has eased or decreased the various forms of bondage weighing upon men, then in a sense he is justified and, to some extent, he can forgive himself.