Excerpt | Civilized People

Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:

8/ They work at developing their aesthetic sensibility. Civilized people don't simply obey their baser instincts, they require mens sana in corpore sano.

And so on. That's what civilized people are like. Reading Pickwick and learning a speech from Faust by heart is not enough if your aim is to become a truly civilized person and not to sink below the level of your surroundings.

§ From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886

Chekhov, A. (2004) A Life in Letters