Terry Teachout asks some heavy questions about the point or pointlessness of writing about art in a dangerous time, and answers them movingly. What would I do if only a day remained? It doesn't do my mood much good to contemplate such questions, but at some point or another I would reach for Brahms' Intermezzos Opus 117, and in particular the first, which since age seventeen or so has been the music closest to my heart. Some years ago Radu Lupu made an irreplaceable recording of Brahms' late piano music. It offers something more than beauty — it gives sympathy, compassion, companionship. Other than that, I'd want to get out of the house and leave art behind. When, on September 11, I left the building from which I'd watched the terror unfold and joined the endless crowd of people walking up Seventh Avenue, I felt one of the most powerful emotions of my life, which was the feeling of belonging to a mass. Strange how seldom our so-called mass culture provides such a feeling. Even the rowdiest entertainments return us to the suburbs of solitude, our disconnectedness rushing back in.