A culture . . . is a work of imagination, or a failure of it.
Culture is continuity with the past: A cultureless person knows only about, and lives exclusively in, the present. Few things are as pleasing—thrilling, really—as reading a classical author and discovering that he has had thoughts and emotions akin to your own. So I have felt, at times, reading Horace, Montaigne, William Hazlitt, and others who departed the planet centuries before my entrance upon it. . . [B]y removing oneself from the noise and vulgarities of the present, and lending oneself the perspective of the past, an engagement with high culture makes life richer—and thereby immensely more interesting.