What makes art serious? A considerable number of contemporary artists seem to think that it must be grim and/or preachy (preferably both). They have a point—up to a point. Tragic works of art tell disquieting truths that illuminate the darkest corners of the human condition. The trouble is that the world is already full of overearnest creatures who believe that great art can do nothing else. No one seems to have told them that art has another, equally important function, one that Goethe summed up pretty well when he said that it should be "life-enhancing" and that Johnny Mercer hit dead center in "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive": "You've got to spread joy up to the maximum." For it is also a legitimate goal of the serious artist to give joy to those who experience his art—and nobody has done that better than Emmanuel Chabrier.

— Positive Art  

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