Nearly all the discussions of criticism that I am acquainted with start off with a false assumption, to
wit, that the primary motive of the critic, the impulse which makes a critic of him instead of, say, a
politician or a stock broker, is pedagogical...This is true, it seems to me, only of bad critics...The motive
of the critic who is really worth reading...is not the motive of the pedagogue, but the motive of the artist.
It is no more and no less than the simple desire to function freely and beautifully, to give outward and
objective form to ideas that bubble inwardly and have a fascinating lure in them, to get rid of them
dramatically, and make an articulate noise in the world...
Everything else is after-thought, mock-modesty, messianic delusion.
- H. L. Mencken in The New Republic, 1921