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the revulsion of literature toward the state


"Language and, presumably, literature are more ancient and inevitable, more durable than any form of social organization. The revulsion, irony, or indifference often expressed by literature toward the state is essentially the reaction of the permanent—better yet, the infinite—against the temporary, against the finite."
—Joseph Brodsky
from "Footnote to a Poem" in the collection Less than One

Ai Weiwei, second panel of the triptych "Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn" 1995/2009