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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 2082
AUTHOR: Herman Wouk (1915–)
QUOTATION: The imaginative artist willy-nilly influences his time. If he understands his responsibility and acts on it—taking the art seriously always, himself never quite—he can make a contribution equal to, if different from, that of the scientist, the politician, and the jurist. The anarchic artist so much in vogue now—asserting with vehemence and violence that he writes only for himself, grubbing in the worst seams of life—can do damage. But he can also be so useful in breaking up obsolete molds, exposing shams, and crying out the truth, that the broadest freedom of art seems to me necessary to a country worth living in.
ATTRIBUTION: HERMAN WOUK.—Kirk Polking. “An Exclusive Interview with Herman Wouk,” Writer’s Digest, September 1966, p. 50.
SUBJECTS: Writers and writing