The old hunger to know what the immortals thought has given place to a far more tolerant curiosity to know what our own generation is thinking … And soon we develop another taste, unsatisfied by the great — not a valuable taste, perhaps, but certainly a very pleasant possession — the taste for bad books … We know which authors can be trusted to produce yearly (for happily they are prolific) a [book] which affords us indescribable pleasure. We owe a great deal to bad books; indeed, we come to count their authors and their heroes among those figures who play so large a part in our silent life.
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