I continue to be rolled in the mud. La Gironde calls me Prudhomme. That seems new to me.
How shall I thank you? I feel the need of saying affectionate things to you. I have so many in my heart that not one comes to the tips of my fingers. What a splendid woman you are and what a splendid man! To say nothing of all the other things!
I have rewritten my article [Footnote: The article, Sur l’Education sentimentale, de Flaubert, was printed in the Questions d’art et de litterature, Calmann-Levy, p. 415.] today and this evening, I am better, it is clearer. I am expecting your telegram tomorrow. If you do not put your veto on it, I shall send the article to Ulbach, who begins his paper the 15th of this month; he wrote to me this morning to beg me urgently for any article I would send him. I think this first number will be widely read, and it would be good publicity. Michel Levy would be a better judge than we as to what is the best to do: consult him.
You seem astonished at the ill will. You are too simple. You do not know how original your book is, and how many personal feelings must be offended by the force it contains. You think you are doing things that will pass as a letter in the mail; ah! well, yes!
I have insisted on the plan of your book; that is what they understand the least and it is what is the most important. I tried to show the ordinary people how they should read; for it is the ordinary people who make successes. The clever ones don’t like the successes of others. I don’t pay attention to the malicious; it would honor them too much.
My mother has your telegram and is sending her manuscript
4 o’clock in the afternoon.
I do not see my article coming out, but others are appearing which are bad and unjust. One’s enemies are always better served than one’s friends. And then, when one frog begins to croak, all the others follow suit. After a certain reverence has been violated every one tries to see who can best jump on the shoulders of the statue; it is always like that. You are undergoing the disadvantages of having a style that is not yet familiar through repetition, and all are making idiots of themselves so as not to see it.
Absolute impersonality is debatable, and I do not accept it absolutely; but I wonder that Saint-Victor who has preached it so much and has criticised my plays because they were not impersonal, should abandon you instead of defending you. Criticism is in a sad way; too much theory!
Don’t be troubled by all that and keep straight on. Don’t attempt a system, obey your inspiration.