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- There is only one type of decadence which is dangerous in art and literature, and unfortunately critics seldom scourge it as it deserves: it consists in being conventional and imitative, in tritely expressing cheap and superficial emotions.
- Writers & Their Critics, Ithaca, New York, 1944.
- One of the most considerable achievements of Surrealism was its discovery that many writers and painters of the past had been Surrealists without knowing it.
- As quoted in Cohn Existentialism (1948), p. 36
- The primary condition for being sincere is the same as for being humble: not to boast of it, and probably not even to be aware of it.
- Literature and Sincerity (1963), p. 5
- Writing a novel is not very difficult: you simply write ten pages a day for a month and then you have a novel.
- Henri Peyre, at Yale, as quoted in Graham, Garrett, The Writer's Voice: Conversations with Contemporary Writers (1973), p. 272
- Henri Peyre obituary, 1988