Art is not defiled by our efforts

We, holding Art in our hands, confidently consider ourselves to be its masters; boldly we direct it, we renew, reform and manifest it; we sell it for money, use it to please those in power; turn to it at one moment for amusement — right down to popular songs and night-clubs, and at another — grabbing the nearest weapon, cork or cudgel — for the passing needs of politics and for narrow-minded social ends. But art is not defiled by our efforts, neither does it thereby depart from its true nature, but on each occasion and in each application it gives to us a part of its secret inner light.

—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Lecture, 1970

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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