In the library today, looking for something else (is this not the best way to find a book?), I picked up a volume of T.S. Eliot's letters. And what should I randomly open to but this:

Mr. Hannay doubts whether I have justified my distinction between the critic and the philosopher, and suspects that I am making a distinction between a kind of philosophical criticism of which I approve and another kind of which I disapprove. If I have made this distinction between kinds to Mr. Hannay's satisfaction, and not merely shown that I like some critical writings and not others, then I ought to be content. The frontier cannot be clearly defined; at all events I trust that Mr. Hannay would agree that Hegel's Philosophy of Art adds very little to our enjoyment or understanding of art, though it fills a gap in Hegel's philosophy.

It's in The Athenaeum of 6 August 1920, for those interested. Maugham says something very similar about Kant in his essay on the Critique of Judgment, and also in Cakes and Ale. Perhaps there's something about Anglo-American literature that's fundamentally hostile to the systemization of experience?

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