Art as Moral Privilege

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For the New York Times Bookends column, Rivka Galchen walks us through a deceptively simple poem by Zbigniew Herbert to illustrate a philosophy that supports both the abstract and the moral responsibility of art. She posits that “there is a way in which art for art’s sake is the art most open to all comers, and most (potentially) ethical.”


Kirstin Allio is currently a Howard Foundation Fellow at Brown University. Her story collection, Clothed, Female Figure comes out with Dzanc in 2016. Her novel, Garner (Coffee House), was a finalist for the LA Times Book Award for First Fiction. She has received the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” Award, a PEN/O. Henry Prize, and has published many short stories, poems, and essays. More from this author →