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Jan 132014
 
Fuse Commentary: The Welcome Buccaneers of Arts Criticism

“Criticism will always have the force of the child in the story about the emperor’s new clothes, because there will always be naked emperors who everybody says are wearing today’s Crown Jewels.” — Eric Bentley

Jul 172012
 
Fuse Commentary: The New York Times — Shouldn't It Know the Purpose of Arts Criticism?

Based on Public Editor Arthur S. Brisbane’s recent New York Times column on arts criticism, he and others at the newspaper haven’t much of a clue regarding what a serious arts review is supposed to be.

Jan 012012
 
Fuse Book Review/Commentary:  Why Lionel Trilling -- and Serious Criticism -- Matters

The essential task of the critic is not to like or dislike the arts or to push bromides, such as to celebrate the “power of reading.” Despite some troublesome modifications, Lionel Trilling carries on the mission of E.A. Poe and Henry James: he articulates the value of the serious act of judgment in a culture hostile to it.

Oct 272011
 
Fuse Commentary: Meditating on Excellence in the Arts, High and Low

What makes one opinion better than another? (Some opinions have been challenged more than others. Tested opinions are worth more than untested ones.) Can’t one enjoy an aesthetic experience without having to put it into words? (Absolutely, but those of us who write art criticism don’t have the luxury.)