Oscar Berg thought that fear of death was perhaps the
root of all art, perhaps also of all things of
the mind. We fear death, we shudder at life’s instability,
we grieve to see the flowers wilt again and again,
and the leaves fall, and in our hearts we know
that we, too, are transitory and will soon disappear. When
artists create pictures and thinkers search for laws and formulate
thoughts, it is in order to salvage something from the
great dance of death, to make something that lasts
longer than we do. Men eventually trickle away and dissolve.
Paraphrases from the novel Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse.