The Critic

“The function of criticism, if it has a legitimate function at all, can only be one function – that of dealing with the subconscious part of the author’s mind which only the critic can express, and not with the conscious part of the author’s mind, which the author himself can express. Either criticism is no good at all (a very defensible position) or else criticism means saying about an author the very things that would have made him jump out of his boots.”

– G.K. Chesterton
Introduction to “The Old Curiosity Shop” from Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens, Collected Works Vol. 15 p. 272