It seems this is an age of clever critics who keep bewailing the fact that there are no works worthy of criticism.
In criticism, I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.
Criticism occupies the lowest place in the literary hierarchy: as regards form, almost always; and as regards “moral value,” incontestably. It comes after rhyming games and acrostics, which at least require a certain inventiveness.[La critique est au dernier échelon de la littérature, comme forme presque toujours, et comme valeur morale, incontestablement. Elle passe après le bout rimé et l’acrostiche, lesquels demandent au moins un travail d’invention quelconque.]