Manet: I really would like you here, my dear Baudelaire; they are raining insults on me, I've never been led such a dance...I should have liked to have your sane verdict on my pictures, for all these cries have set me on edge, and it's clear someone must be wrong...In London, the academy has rejected my pictures.
Baudelaire: So once again I am obliged to speak to you about yourself. I must do my best to demonstrate to you your own value. What you ask for is truly stupid. People are making fun of you; pleasantries set you on edge; no one does you justice, etc. Do you think you're the first to be placed in this position? Have you more genius than Chateaubriand and Wagner? And did people not make fun of them? They did not die of it.
Jamie: This exchange between friends Manet and Baudelaire, though, perfectly describes the emotional climate of my graduate program, always high stakes, always high drama. If only I could shout his words around the department like some kind of aural apotropaic.