14 Nov '13, 4pm

I was looking at something I wrote last year, "Being a Book Critic Is Nothing Special," which I still believe:

I think that’s what I’m trying to get at when I say that “being a book critic is nothing special.” I’m certainly not trying to put down the path I’ve spent most of my adult life pursuing, and a good chunk of my entire life preparing for. I’m just not subscribing to the notion that there’s some sort of higher calling in my chosen path. I try to “set interesting works before intelligent audiences,” as Mendelsohn puts it, but I don’t flatter myself that I’m any sort of gatekeeper for anything grander than my own tastes. David Ulin’s response to Mendelsohn zeroed in on the idea that “criticism matters—not because of how many people read it, or whether they agree or disagree with it, but because it is a way of engaging with literature.” If, as Harold Bloom suggested in The Western Canon , “the reception of aesthetic power enables us to learn how to talk to ourselves and how to ...

Full article: http://beatrice.com/wordpress/2012/09/05/being-book-criti...

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