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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Extracts from Amiel’s Journal
Critical Ideals
By Henri Frédéric Amiel (1821–1881)
 
Translation of Mary Augusta Ward

THE TRUE critic strives for a clear vision of things as they are—for justice and fairness; his effort is to get free from himself, so that he may in no way disfigure that which he wishes to understand or reproduce. His superiority to the common herd lies in this effort, even when its success is only partial. He distrusts his own senses, he sifts his own impressions, by returning upon them from different sides and at different times, by comparing, moderating, shading, distinguishing, and so endeavoring to approach more and more nearly to the formula which represents the maximum of truth.
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