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FERDINAND BRUNETIÈRE, 1 of whom I am very fond, is extremely angry with me.
He charges me with misunderstanding the very laws
of criticism, of having no standard
. by which to judge the things of the mind, of floating according to my instincts among contradictions, of not emerging from myself, and of being enclosed in my own subjectivity, as in a dark prison.
Far from complaining of being thus attacked, I rejoice in this honourable dispute, which is entirely flattering to myself when one considers the merit of my adversary, the severity of a censure which conceals much indulgence, the greatness of the interests concerned, for according to M. Brunetière it is a matter of no less than the intellectual future of our country, and, to conclude, the choice of my accomplices, M. Jules Lemaître and M. Paul Desjardins being denounced along with me as guilty of subjective and personal criticism, and as corrupters of youth. I have an old and ever fresh affection for the wit of M. Lemaître, for his quick intelligence, his winged poetry, and his delightful lucidity. M. Paul Desjardins interests me by reason of the tremulous
• See the Revue des Deux Mondes, Ist January, 1891, La Critique impersonnelle, by M. Ferdinand Brunetière.