Question Nr. 33

Who among us is not moved by the thought of Mozart dancing at night in the winter in Vienna with his wife to keep warm because he could not afford fuel, or of Beethoven restricted for three days in his apartment because he had sent out his only pair of boots to be repaired? Either of them had sufficient skills to earn a comfortable living had they turned to popular music, but they chose not to.

Plato, in his Republic,19.591d framed the question thus:

How can an artist allow himself to be dazzled by the foolish applause of the world, and heap up riches to his own infinite harm?

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