... I believe that I must return once more to the vision of the two worlds confronting each other in anticipation of victory: the real world or that of the Arts.
Of course, there exist many differences between them, but there is one of colossal dimensions that stands out above all the rest. And it is the following. While the real world, in its conflict with the Arts, becomes so extremely furious as to rush forward to destroy them, in no case whatsoever, I repeat, in no case whatsoever, do Literature and the Arts ever attack the real world with the intention of harming it, but in fact fight to make it more beautiful, more habitable.
This is the absolute difference between the two. And in this case, this difference constitutes no other than the most sublime confirmation of the true independence of the Arts.
from Ismail Kadare's speech at the Prince of Asturias Awards ceremony, 2009