Lemoine Pastiche by Faguet manuscript

   I could tell you quite honestly that I am speaking to you about the Lemoine Affair because I have been asked to do so. But all the same I do not know if that particular subject is as strange to literature as you might think. A great inventor, and above all the inventor of something in short as beautiful as a precious stone, is just about, unless I am mistaken, the same thing as a great poet. Whether the invention be genuine or not, good heavens, in the eyes of the literary critic, is nothing more, how can I say? than a detail. And one might even maintain that if this invention had in short been nothing but a beautiful enchantment, made to pass before our eyes like the fires of gemstones that do not exist, it is merely more primitive in itself, closer still to the beautiful lies of our poets. There is nothing that so much resembles the soul of a great poet as, if I may be so bold, the soul of a great practical joker. And then, as the soul of Raymond Lulle lives appropriately still in one of our contemporaries, here we have without doubt a most precious discovery. Good heavens, I am not deluding myself, to have pretended to discover the secret of manufacturing diamonds, is not to have produced La Légende des Siècles. But in the end it is already not bad, in its groundwork and its malleable imagination, and in formula, as the excellent Brunetière would say, something at the same time most ingenious and what you might call most esthetic, etc.

Manuscript fragment not retained in the published version.


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