"True art is moral: it seeks to improve life, not debase it. It seeks to hold off, at least for awhile, the twilight of the gods and us...that art which tends toward destruction, the art of nihilists, cynics, and merdistes, is not properly art at all. Art is essentially serious and beneficial, a game played against chaos and death, and entropy." John Gardner, from On Moral Fiction, 1978.
Indeed! Though it cost him considerable enmity in literary circles and with critics, Gardner took a stand against the darkness with the above book and vision, and realized that art is as important for the edification of the soul as religion.
This is another funny bit from Shelf Awareness:
Booze and books. Flavorwire couldn't "think of anything better than to
sip a cool drink while typing away at our--er, laptops--out on the porch
in the sweet summer night air." Thus, the inevitable feature: "How to
Drink Like Your Favorite Authors