Henri Peyre

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Henri Maurice Peyre (21 February 19019 December 1988) was an American linguist and literary scholar of French origin.


  • 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

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