WITH the release of my book getting close, I’m going to start salvaging some of the great epigraphs that helped me tell the story — in some cases, the history or even prehistory — of the creative class. These, then, are other people’s words which helped me to explain things, but which I lost in the edit.
Here is the first, from the wonderful book by the late philosopher and journalist Denis Dutton.
The evolution of Homo sapiens in the past million years is not just a history of how we came to have acute color vision, a taste for sweets and an upright gait. It is also the story of how we became a species obsessed with creating artistic experiences with which to amuse, shock, titillate and enrapture ourselves, from children’s games to the quartets of Beethoven, from firelit caves to the continuous worldwide glow of television screens.
Denis Dutton, The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution
I’m hoping these quotes lead people to think more deeply about the subjects or to check out the source materials. I don’t always agree with the people I quote on every subject — Dutton’s politics are very different from mine, for instance — but I find them smart of provocative.