Today I was asked a question:

“If mankind had to disappear with everything we have ever done and only one piece of art could survive what would you like it to be?”

At first I was giving vague answers on how I would make it so that I could save more than one piece. Music, literature, art, all counts. And I of course choose books, because this is my passion. The person asking me the question has a passion for classical music and, of course, they would save some music. The exact answer was:

“Some books/dramas are also excellent but I think music is way superior in this manner. The way it’s way more imaginary than literature. Also language independent and you don’t need skills to enjoy music. I think it has to be music. See how I cheat? The ring from Wagner is 4 operas, abour 20 hours of music. The violin sonatas are also about 3 volumes.”

They were persistent that I had to choose only one piece of literature. Still I kept insisting that “Dude, I read so many books I cannot possibly have a favorite. There’s so many brilliant pieces out there” and yet, at the same time I had the answer sitting at the back of my brain, moving and shaking in between other thoughts… I did answer though:

“If I was to save just one book, I would pick a book from E.M. Remarque. ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ or ‘Three Comrades’… I think they would be a good reading to spark empathy in people world wide and seeing that empathy is lacking on this planet…specially in the higher ranks and classes of society, my aim would be to show through someone else’s words, and good ones at that, what wars do to regular, middle class people, and to hopefulyl make them realize how painful it really is. Of course, that would require people to actually open up their minds and hearts to the horror. Obviously this isn’t happening in modern picture. We bury our heads in the sand.”

Maybe at another time, at a more hopeless moment I would pick a different book. I would pick a book that would help some people escape the reality. Something light and meaningless.

What piece of art would you save?