Homework, Muckraking, and Peace

[…] I think art’s project is fundamentally meliorative. The aim of meditating about the world is finally to change the world. It is this meliorative aspect of literature that provides its ethical dimension. We are all Upton Sinclairs, even that Hamlet, Stéphane Mallarmé.

—Donald Barthelme, “Not-Knowing,” Not-Knowing: The Essays and Interviews (Kim Herzinger, ed.)