Nothing Will Silence It

Alex Miller

“I don’t know that it’s making any difference, is it? And if it is making a difference, how do we begin to quantify the difference it’s making? It’s rather like prayer. How can we know? Without poetry and drama and novels and music and art we know ourselves to be poorer. We know such things as these enrich our existence. But really that’s about all we can say. We can’t really say what it all means, or how it changes anything, at least not for other people, and perhaps not even for ourselves — unless we are book reviewers, of course, and no mysteries of the human soul are hidden from us. It is a rather elusive thing really, what creative writing or music mean. And this is one of their greatest charms. They elude our reason and give us respite from its tyrannies …”