I have always thought that art is not a category, not a realm covering innumerable concepts and derivative phenomena, but that, on the contrary, it is something concentrated, strictly limited. It is a principle that is present in every work of art, a force applied to it and a truth worked out in it. And I have never seen art as form but rather as a hidden, secret part of content. All this is as clear to me as daylight. I feel it in every bone of my body, but it’s terribly difficult to express or to define this idea.
The people in the cities were as helpless as children in the face of the unknown—that unknown which swept every established habit aside and left nothing but desolation in its wake, although it was itself the offspring of the city and the creation of city-dwellers.
All around, people continued to deceive themselves, to talk endlessly. Everyday life struggled on by force of habit, limping and shuffling. But the doctor saw life as it was. It was clear to him that it was under sentence. He looked upon himself and his milieu as doomed. Ordeals were ahead, perhaps death. Their days were counted and running out before his eyes.
Every motion in the world taken separately was calculated and purposeful, but, taken together, they were spontaneously intoxicated with the general stream of life which united them all. People worked and struggled, each set in motion by the mechanism of his own cares. But the mechanisms would not have worked properly had they not been regulated and governed by a higher sense of an ultimate freedom from care. This freedom came from the feeling that all human lives were interrelated, a certainty that they flowed into each other—a happy feeling that all events took place not only on the earth, in which the dead are buried, but also in some other region which some called the Kingdom of God, others history, and still others by some other name.
A former Amazon employee who worked in the Kindle division said that few of his colleagues in Seattle had a real interest in books: “You never heard people say, ‘Hey, what are you reading?’ Everyone there is so engineering-oriented. They don’t know how to talk to novelists.” The marketing executive pointed out that Amazon is a fast-moving company, but publishing is slow. “It’s like the difference between trolling and fly-fishing,” he said.