Only stories and magic really endure. How tiny one’s area of understanding is art teaches one perhaps better than philosophy. There is a kind of despair involved in creation which I am sure any artist knows all about. In art, as in morality, great things go by the board because at the crucial moment we blink our eyes. When is the crucial moment? Greatness is to recognize it and be able to hold it and to extend it. But for most of us the space between ‘dreaming on things to come’ and 'its is too late, it is all over’ is too tiny to enter. And so we let each thing go, thinking vaguely that it will always be given to us to try again. Thus works of art, and thus whole lives of men, are spoilt by blinking and moving quickly on.
— Iris Murdoch, The Black Prince