One might almost reckon mathematically that, having undergone the double composition of public opinion and of the author, their history reaches us at third hand and is thus separated by two stages from the original fact.
Of what use were the arts if they were only the reproduction and the imitation of life?
Art ought never to be considered except in its relations with its ideal beauty.
The study of social progress is today not less needed in literature than is the analysis of the human heart.
What it values most of all is the sum total of events and the advance of civilization, which carries individuals along with it; but, indifferent to details, it cares less to have them real than noble or, rather, grand and complete.
I think, then, that man, after having satisfied his first longing for facts, wanted something fuller - some grouping, some adaptation to his capacity and experience, of the links of this vast chain of events which his sight could not take in.