Oh, the power of Form! Nations die because of it. It is the cause of wars. It creates something in us that is not of us. If you make light of it you’ll never understand stupidity nor evil nor crime. It governs our slightest impulses. It is at the base of our collective life. For you, however, Form and Style still belong strictly to the realm of the aesthetic – for you style is on paper only, in the style of your stories. Gentlemen, who will slap your pupa which you dare turn toward others as you kneel at the altar of art? For you form is not something that is human and alive, something – I’d say – practical and everyday, but just a feature for the holidays. And while you’re leaning over a piece of paper you forget your own self – you don’t care about perfecting your own individual and concrete style, you merely practice an abstract stylization in a vacuum. Instead of art serving you, you serve art – and with a sheeplike docility you let it impede your development, and you let it push you into the hell of indolence.
Witold Gombrowicz – Ferdydurke
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