Art, like the God of the Jews, thrives on holocausts. Go on! Rend yourself, whip yourself, roll yourself in ashes, make matter vile, spit on your body, tear out your heart! You'll be alone, your feet will bleed, an infernal feeling of disgust will accompany you the whole way, none of what makes other people's joy will go to make yours, what are
pinpricks to them will be laceration to you, and you'll flounder on, lost in the storm, with this little light on the horizon. But it will get bigger, it will get bigger like the sun, its
golden beams will cover your face, they'll pass into you, you'll be lit up from inside, you'll feel airy
and all spirit, and after each letting of blood the flesh will weigh less.
-- Gustave Flaubert
People who are able to share one another's minds and bodies, people who are able to fulfill themselves
adequately by their relationships with others, those healthy people spend much of their thinking- or
reading- or watching-time in venerating the visions and moral insights of neurotic people who are
frequently unable to live a shared and fulfilled life themselves, and these latter are known as artists and
politicians. And I feel that an unhealthy amount of attention is paid, an undesirable intensity of
reverence is shown, to what are often visions and precepts and ideologies that arise out of a failure to
live a fulfilled private life. Much of art consists merely of messages transmitted from the lonely to the
lonely. There is too much veneration accorded to the imaginative visions of failed human beings. Total
happiness, as Cyril Connolly said, is the enemy of art. Forced to choose between the two, I would
recommend happiness...One sees more and more of this, of happy people growing miserable through trying to enrich their already satisfactory lives by struggling to appreciate some vapid trash which they've been persuaded they must understand in order to improve themselves.
- Kenneth Tynan, interviewed in Playboy