From 1917, when he was fourteen, Raymond Radiguet taught me to distrust the new if it had a new look, to run counter to the fashions of the avant-garde. This puts one in an awkward position. One shocks the right. One shocks the left. But, at a distance, all these contradictions come together under one label. Clever the one that can sort this out. The young people visiting our ruins see nothing but a style. The age called ‘heroic’ displays nothing but its daring. This is how a Museum works. It levels. Ingres and Delacroix side by side, Matisse with Picasso, Braque with Bonnard. And evens, let me say, in a recent revival of Faust, the old garden set, the work os Jusseaume, had become, thanks to dust and unconscious similarities, a magnificent Claude Monet.
But this phenomenon of perspective does not concern youth. Youth can only assert itself through the conviction that its ventures surpass all other and resemble nothing.
- Jean Cocteau