„Perhaps what I would like is a truly democratic culture. Not a polemic nor a moralistic culture in the arts but a culture which permits one man to speak to another honestly and modestly and in freedom and to say what he thinks and what he feels, to express his doubts and his fears, his immoral as well as his moral impulses, to say what he thinks is true and what he thinks is false, and what he likes and what he does not like. What I am against is that we should all engage in the most vigorous and most polemic lying to each other for each other's benefit. — Who could have the conceit, the self-confidence to believe that that is what we should do throughout all the rest of human history?“

— George Oppen, Letter to Charles Humboldt (mid-1962), p. 64

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