— Lionel Trilling American academic 1905 - 1975
Context: A real book reads us. I have been read by Eliot's poems and by Ulysses and by Remembrance of Things Past and by The Castle for a good many years now, since early youth. Some of these books at first rejected me; I bored them. But as I grew older and they knew me better, they came to have more sympathy with me and to understand my hidden meanings. Their nature is such that our relationship has been very intimate. No literature has ever been so shockingly personal as that of our time — it asks every question that is forbidden by polite society.
"On the Modern Element in Modern Literature," Partisan Review (January/February 1961); reprinted as "On the Teaching of Modern Literature," Beyond Culture (1965)