"The most effective weapon against the flux of nature is art. Religion, ritual, and art began as one, and a religious or metaphysical element is still present in all art. Art, no matter how minimalist, is never simply design. It is always a ritualistic reordering of reality. The enterprise of art, in a stable collective era or an unsettled individualistic one, is inspired by anxiety. Every subject localized and honored by art is endangered by its opposite. Art is a shutting in in order to shut out. Art is a ritualistic binding of the perpetual motion machine that is nature. The first artist was a tribal priest casting a spell, fixing nature’s daemonic energy in a moment of perceptual stillness. Fixation is at the heart of art, fixation as stasis and fixation as obsession. The modern artist who merely draws a line across a page is still trying to tame some uncontrollable aspect of reality. Art is spellbinding. Art fixes the audience in its seat, stops the feet before a painting, fixes a book in the hand. Contemplation is a magic act."
— Camille Paglia, from Sexual Personae.
"The writer is the duelist who never fights at the stated hour, who gathers the insult like another curiosity, spreads it afterward on his desk and fights then, alone. Some people call it weakness. I call it postponement. What is a weakness in a man is the glory of an artist, his quality. What I spill in talk or acts rarely is restituted in writing. What is preserved, collected, is what explodes later in propitious solitude. That is why the artist is the loneliest man in the world: because he lives, fights, wars, dies, is reborn alone, and always alone."
— Anais Nin