To Make People Love Life

Ilya Repin. Leo Tolstoy in His Study. 1891. Oil on canvas. The State Literature Museum, Moscow, Russia.“The aims of art are incommensurate (as the mathematicians say) with social aims. The aim of an artist is not to solve a problem irrefutably, but to make people love life in all its countless inexhaustible manifestations. If I were to be told that I could write a novel  whereby I might Dustin Hoffman reads War and Peace on New York's WBAI radio during the winter of 1970.irrefutably establish what seemed to me the correct point of view on all social problems, I would not even devote two hours to such a novel; but if I were to be told that what I should write would be read in about twenty years time by those who are now children, and that they would laugh and cry over it and love life, I would devote all my life and all my energies to it.”

~ Leo Tolstoy, from Tolstoy’s Letters, selected and translated by R.F. Christian