Criticism occupies the lowest place in the literary hierarchy: as regards form, almost always; and as regards moral value, incontestably. It comes after rhyming games and acrostics, which at least require a certain inventiveness.
(Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by Francis Steegmuller. The Selected Letters of Gustave Flaubert, letter, June 28-29, 1853, to Louise Colet (Farrar, Strauss and Young, 1953).)