On the good and the popular

“When young people are just beginning to pass from the ranks of the many to those of the few, a ludicrous, but fortunately transient error may occur. The young person who has only recently discovered that there is in music something far more lastingly delightful than catchy tunes may go through a phase in which the mere occurrence of such a tune in any work makes him disdain it as ‘cheap.’ And another young man, at the same stage, may disdain as ‘sentimental’ any picture whose subject makes a ready appeal to the normal affections of the human mind. It is as if, having once discovered that there are other things to be demanded of a house than comfort, you then concluded that no comfortable house could be ‘good architecture.’

I have said this error is transient. I meant transient in real lovers of music or of painting. But in status seekers and devotees of culture it sometimes becomes a fixation.”

— C.S. Lewis, “An Experiment in Criticism”