— Henri Barbusse French novelist 1873 - 1935
Light (1919), Ch. XXII - Light
Context: You can form no idea of the beauty that is possible! You cannot imagine what all the squandered treasure can provide, what can be brought on by the resurrection of misguided human intelligence, successively smothered and slain hitherto by infamous slavery, by the despicable infectious necessity of armed attack and defense, and by the privileges which debase human worth. You can have no notion what human intelligence may one day find of new adoration. The people's absolute reign will give to literature and the arts — whose harmonious shape is still but roughly sketched — a splendor boundless as the rest. National cliques cultivate narrowness and ignorance, they cause originality to waste away; and the national academies, to which a residue of superstition lends respect, are only pompous ways of upholding ruins.