Susan Sontag

ONE TASK OF LITERATURE is to formulate questions and construct counterstatements to the reigning pieties. And even when art is not oppositional, the arts gravitate toward contrariness. Literature is dialogue; responsiveness. Literature might be described as the history of human responsiveness to what is alive and what is moribund as cultures evolve and interact with one another.

— Susan Sontag, from her 2003 speech accepting the German Friedenspreis