Exactly what it says on the tin. This might come off as pretentious, but I do not control what makes my brain go "houghguahgugh" unfortunately.

Art is the whisper of history, heard above the noise of time. Art does not exist for art's sake: it exists for people's sake.

— Julian Barnes, The Noise of Time

And indeed, said Austerlitz after a while, to this day there is something illusionistic and illusory about the relationship of time and space as we experience it in travelling, which is why whenever we come home from elsewhere we never feel quite sure if we have really been abroad.

— W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz

Music — good music, great music — had a hard, irreducible purity to it. It might be bitter and despairing and pessimistic, but it could never be cynical. If music is tragic, those with asses’ ears accuse it of being cynical. But when a composer is bitter, or in despair, or pessimistic, that still means he believes in something.

— Julian Barnes, The Noise of Time

What was the human animal in the midst of the siege? An herbivore that crawled on all fours, browsing on dirty grasses. A predator that hunted alone or in packs. A social animal that spoke of noble art and wound violin strings from the guts of dead sheep and pigs. A creature with canine teeth for tearing, but with a tongue for speaking. A mouth that could devour or sing.

— M. T. Anderson, Symphony for the City of the Dead