“Goethe speaks for the artist, and his own position with regard to standards is quite clear: he represents the humanistic tradition which places responsibility for the fate of culture and individual morality in the hands of the intellectual elite. This elite betrays its mission when it plays up to the cheap instincts of the populace by producing inferior books and vulgar plays. In other words, Goethe does not ask how the writer could go about gaining the attention of a large public, but the opposite: how can the public be persuaded to undertake the intellectual effort required by true art.”

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