The work of art assumes the existence of the perfect spectator, and is indifferent to the fact that no such person exists.
(E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. "The Raison d'tre of Criticism in the Arts," pt. II (1947), in Two Cheers for Democracy (1951).
Originally from an address on music at Harvard University.)
Don't you know that every perfect life would mean the end of art?
(Robert Musil (1880-1942), Austrian author. Ulrich to Clarisse, in The Man Without Qualities, book I, ch. 84, Gesammelte Werke in Neun Banden [Collected Works in Nine Volumes], ed. Adolf Frise, trans. by Donald C. Riechel, Rowohlt (1978).)