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Art and Literature



Why, my art is important to me and it needs noble, hot blood. Art and rebellion are almost identical. I am a revolutionary because I am an artist and as much as I am him, the entire thousand-year process from which I derive, sown with names like Rabelais or Montaigne, Lautréamont or Cervantes, was an uninterrupted incitement to rebellion, sometimes on the scale of a hushed whisper, other times, exploding with full voice.
Diary, 1956 [Trans. Vallee]
If art is ‘the most personal thing,’ if it is ‘the most private possession one can imagine,’ if art is the personality, the ‘I’ ... Try, you adherents of combines and collective farms, to tell Chopin that the Sonata in B Minor is not his. Or that he is not the Sonata in B Minor and in the wildest, most ruthless fashion. Oh, I can imagine the dancing clown of artism seducing, loving, going crazy, thirsty for superiority and all the luxuries and not allowing itself to be ruled, apprehended, described—I can imagine this little, incomprehensible, but arrogant imp under the aegis of your regulation, fulfilling cozily and usefully its prescribed functions. How amusing this is: the madness of art, its conflagration, against the background of a stable, reasoned morality and all of this ‘socialization.’
Diary, 1960 [Trans. Vallee]