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.