"Behold, then, a new religion, a new society; upon this twofold foundation there must inevitably spring up a new poetry . . . [Art] will set about doing as nature does, mingling in its creations - but without confounding them - darkness and light, the grotesque and the sublime; in other words, the body and the soul, the beast and the intellect; for the starting point of religion is always the starting point of poetry. All things are connected."
"Let us then speak boldly. The time for it has come, and it would be strange if, in this age, liberty, like the light, should penetrate everywhere except to the one place where freedom is most natural - the domain of thought. Let us take the hammer to theories and poetic systems. Let us throw down the old plastering that conceals the façade of art. There are neither rules nor models; or, rather, there are no other rules than the general laws of nature, which soar above the whole field of art, and the special rules which result from the conditions appropriate to the subject of each composition . . ."
"The poet - let us insist on this point - should take counsel therefore only of nature, truth, and inspiration which is itself both truth and nature."
(Victor Hugo, Preface to Cromwell)