Perhaps, he thought, the root of all art, and perhaps also of all intellectual activity, is the fear of death. We fear it, we shudder at the ephemeral nature of all things, we grieve to see the
constant cycle of fading flowers and falling leaves and are aware in our own hearts of the certainty that we too are ephemeral and will soon fade away. So when as artists we create images, and as
thinkers we search for laws and formulate ideas, we do so in order to salvage something from the great Dance of Death, to create something that will outlast our lifetime.
Herrmann Hesse, Goldmund in 'Narcissus and Goldmund'