Art’s Place in Everyday Life

“Toward the seven deadly arts Sam had had the inarticulate reverence which an Irish policeman might have toward a shrine of the Virgin on his beat… that little light seen at three of a winter’s morning. They were to him romance, escape, and he was irritated when they were presented to him as a preacher presents the virtues of sobriety and chastity. He hadn’t the training to lose himself in Bach or Goethe; but in Chesterton, in Schubert, in a Corot, he had always been able to forget motors and [his competitor] Alec Kynance, and always he had chuckled over the gay anarchy of Mencken. But with rising stubbornness he asserted that if he had to take the arts as something in which he must pass an examination, he would chuck them altogether and be content with poker.”

– Sinclair Lewis, Dodsworth