As it defines itself, every society defines other societies. That definition almost always takes the form of a condemnation: the 'other' is the barbarian.
The idea of modernity is beginning to lose its vitality. It is losing it because modernity is no longer a critical attitude but an accepted, codified convention.
Changes in our aesthetic tastes have no value or meaning in and of themselves; what has value and meaning is the idea of change itself. Or, better stated: not change in and of itself, but change as an agent or inspiration of modern creations.
Wit invents; inspiration reveals. The inventions of wit are conceits - metaphors and paradoxes - that discover the secret correspondences that unite beings and things among and with themselves; inspiration is condemned to dissipate its revelations - unless a form can be found to contain them.
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.