— Milan Kundera Czech author of Czech and French literature 1929
Context: Do you realize that people don't know how to read Kafka simply because they want to decipher him? Instead of letting themselves be carried away by his unequaled imagination, they look for allegories — and come up with nothing but clichés: life is absurd (or it is not absurd), God is beyond reach (or within reach), etc. You can understand nothing about art, particularly modern art, if you do not understand that imagination is a value in itself.
Interview with Christian Salmon (Fall 1983), Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, Series Seven [Viking, 1988, ], pp. 217-218