Photo of James Baldwin

James Baldwin // "Quite unpredictable things happen when the bulk of the population attains what we think of as a high cultural level... This, I think, is because the effort of a Schoenberg or a Picasso…or a William Faulkner or an Albert Camus…has nothing to do, at bottom, with physical comfort, or indeed with comfort of any other kind. But the aim of the people who rise to this high cultural precisely comfort for the body and the mind. The artistic objects by which they are surrounded cannot possibly fulfill their original function of disturbing the peace...which is still the only method by which the mind can be improved...they bear witness instead to the attainment of a certain level of economic stability and a certain thin measure of sophistication. But art and ideas come out of the passion and torment of experience: it is impossible to have a real relationship to the first if one’s aim is to be protected from the second."