We delight in what you call our corruptions of style  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

We delight in what you call our corruptions of style is a dictum by Paul Bourget recorded in Psychologie contemporaine; Notes et Portraits: Charles Baudelaire. The English translation is by William Heinemann from Max Nordau's Degeneration.

Fuller excerpt:

"We delight in what you call our corruptions of style, and we delight at the same time the refined people of our race and our time. It remains to be seen whether our exception is not an aristocracy, and whether, in the aesthetic order, the majority of suffrages represents anything else than the majority of ignorances.... It is a self-deception not to have the courage of one's intellectual pleasure. Let us delight, therefore, in our singularities of ideal and of form, even if we must shut ourselves up in a solitude without visitors."

French translation:

"Nous nous délectons dans ce que vous appelez nos corruptions de style, et nous délectons avec nous les raffinés de notre race et de notre heure. Il reste à savoir si notre exception n'est pas une aristocratie, et si, dans l'ordre de l'esthétique, la pluralité des suffrages représente autre chose que la pluralité des ignorances. .... c'est une duperie de ne pas avoir le courage de son plaisir intellectuel. Complaisons-nous donc dans nos singularités d'idéal et de forme, quitte à nous y emprisonner dans une solitude sans visiteurs."

In another version, "corruptions" is replaced by "faisanderies":

"Nous nous délectons dans ce que vous appelez nos faisanderies de style"





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