“Sorry, kids, that isn’t what art is for.”

What was the last great book you read? Did you read it when you were a kid?

Even as fully grown adults we remain secretly starved for guidance and instruction. Many of us are walking around with the uneasy feeling that we missed the first day of class and wondering if there are CliffNotes. Most people desperately want someone to tell them what life’s about, what people are for, what we’re supposed to do–how to be a human being. But serious literature, at least since the 19th-century, has been disdainful of fulfilling any didactic obligation. Sorry, kids, that isn’t what art is for.