“To make civilization ever more resplendent”

“To men like Ayrs, it occurs to me, this temple is civilization. The masses, slaves, peasants and foot-soldiers exist in the cracks of its flagstones, ignorant even of their ignorance. Not so the great statesmen, scientists, artists and, most of all, the composers of the age, of any age, who are civilization’s architects, masons and priests. Ayrs sees our role is to make civilization ever more resplendent. My employer’s profoundest, or only, wish is to create a minaret that inheritors of Progress a thousand years from now will point to and say, ‘Look, there is Vyvyan Ayrs!'”

– from the mighty Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

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“To make civilization ever more resplendent”