"In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what’s human and magical that still live and glow despite the times’ darkness."
—David Foster Wallace
“I used to think that life was a thing that kept gaining impetus. It would get richer and deeper each year. You kept learning more, getting wiser, having more insight, going further into the truth—” She hesitated.
Port laughed abruptly. “And now you know it’s not like that. Right? It’s more like smoking a cigarette. The first few puffs it tastes wonderful, and you don’t even think of its ever being used up. Then you begin taking it for granted. Suddenly you realize it’s nearly burned down to the end. And then’s when you’re conscious of the bitter taste.”
“But I’m always conscious of the unpleasant taste and of the end approaching,” she said.
“Then you should give up smoking.”"
—Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky