Essays In Criticism Online

Essays In Criticism Online-86
It takes a book as its occasion, but its discussion of what that book does (or doesn’t do) ventures into such exquisitely soulful territory—thinking about identity, intimacy, and marginalized voices—that I couldn’t possibly do it justice here.By its close, it has swelled into a beautiful ode to surprising and enduring forms of spinster community: full of black-eyed peas and repaid student loans (also a one-eyed Chihuahua! In its reach and its heart, this piece not only illuminates criticism as passionate conversation—the creative act as utterance, the critical act as response—it also explodes any limited notion of “negative” criticism as a destructive act.

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In theory this tolerance is mystifying, since its ultimate source is an aesthetic distinction that feels particularly acute. Anyone who undams his love will end up swimming in it.

Virginia Woolf, who has some claim to be considered the best essayist of the twentieth century, was temperate in her praise of Addison, who may more confidently be judged the best essayist of the eighteenth century.

Its critique sings with the possibility of what can be.

So many people read and loved this beautiful piece by Saunders but I’m going to talk about it here because (dammit! It made my pulse race with the sheer fervor and eloquence and non-photoshopped specificity of its appreciation—its appreciation for teachers, for literature, for teaching.

I will never think about power or gentleness in the same way again. With a deadly calm and phenomenal focus, Brit Bennett’s piece turns over the weight of this shifty juxtaposition—the black doll’s tragedy as a source of joy.

choices between American Girl identities (were you a Molly? The cruelty and the magnificence of it are inextricable.Last year, at the height of my madness, I realized what it resembled: academic literary criticism of a great author.There is the same impulse to collect and the same reluctance to judge.There is the same attenuated alliance, genial but emulous, with fellow lovers.And there is the same tolerance for trivia and banality in criticism, so long as the critic shares in your worship, and especially if he furthers it.I have learned about lossless file codecs in order to trade live shows.I have listened to songs recorded by one of my beloveds before he came up with his distinctive sound—before he was any good, in fact—and I have treasured them, because they are, after all, his. I have found obscure, probably unintentional parallels between the lyrics of one beloved’s songs and those of another.I have wondered about my beloveds’ personal lives and inspected their songs for hints of autobiography.If a love of mine sings a song by another musician, I buy that musician’s album too, and try to like it.“Neither lusty nor lively,” she wrote in 1919, “is the adjective we should apply to the present condition of the latter and the Spectator.” Yet if his best work, a series of essays contributed to The Spectator, has lost some of its former popularity, good reasons remain, now as at any other time, for reading it.The journal is above all famous for the completeness with which it records the life of Queen Anne’s England: what men talked about and thought on many subjects, including literature and literary criticism.


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