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.
“For an imaginative boy, the first experience of writing is like a tiger’s first taste of blood.’ — H.G. Wells, “The New Machiavelli,” 1911.
The important question the NYTBR Editors fail to ask is whether the traditional definition and values of literary criticism will survive in an age of ebooks and iPads. Is there a primal appetite for criticism? (Edith Wharton says there is, and I believe her.) How will the Internet shape our innate desire to compare, judge, […]