Marcel Proust, quoted in Marc Edmundson’s Why Read?:
The mediocre usually imagine that to let ourselves be guided by the books we admire robs our faculty of judgment of part of its independence. ‘What can it matter to you what Ruskin feels: feel for yourself.’ Such a view rests on a psychological error which will be discounted by all those who have accepted a spiritual discipline and feel thereby that their power of understanding and of feeling is infinitely enhanced, and their critical sense never paralyzed… There is no better way of coming to be aware of what one feels oneself than by trying to recreate in oneself what a master has felt. In this profound effort it is our own thought itself that we bring out into the light, together with his.