Critic’s Notebook: Unpopular Causes, Part I

“In place of a hermeneutrics we need an erotics of art.” – “Against Interpretation” [1964], Susan Sontag Challenges and Non-Responses The job of the critic is, by turns, tastemaker, evangelist, and champion.  The best critics harness the powers of intellection and enthusiasm to inform his or her readership on a work’s merits.  If a work receives more merits than demerits, than, in a roughly mathematical fashion, the creator obtains a “good review.”  This reviewer finds works with “mixed reviews” or polarizing reactions (see Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones) most attractive, since “mixed reviews” are not sure things.  A tiny element … Continue reading Critic’s Notebook: Unpopular Causes, Part I

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