COWEN: What’s the main thing you learned over the years, living with those works, viewing the propaganda, thinking about it every day, every night?And this:
PETERSON: Art wins.
COWEN: Art wins over propaganda. Why?
PETERSON: All the time, yeah. Nothing wins over art. Nothing is powerful enough to stand in the way of art. Whatever artistic merit the canvases have stays as a permanent part of them, and the propagandistic aspect disappears as the context — the political context — disappears. All that’s left, in some sense, is the pure art and the craftsmanship. At some point, some of the paintings I have are just very realistic renditions of working-class people. All the propaganda is disappearing, so it’s very interesting to have those artifacts around.
COWEN: What should we learn from Tolkien?
PETERSON: Go out and confront your dragons.
COWEN: What should we learn from Harry Potter?
PETERSON: Voluntary death and rebirth redeems.