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I don’t really like Victorian lit, but I think this quote aptly responds to my previous rantings:

“I fear you are a heretic about art generally. How is that? I should have expected you to be very sensitive to the beautiful everywhere.”

“I suppose I am dull about many things,” said Dorothea, simply. “I should like to make life beautiful – I mean everybody’s life. And then all this immense expense of art, that seems somehow to lie outside life and make it no better for the world, pains one. It spoils my enjoyment of anything when I am made to think that most people are shut out from it.”

“I call that the fanaticism of sympathy,” said Will, impetuously. ” … Enjoyment radiates. It is of no use to try and take care of all the world; that is being taken care of when you feel delight – in art or in anything else.”

-George Elliot, Middlemarch.

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