evaluative criticism

Last year Ronan MacDonald published a book that lamented the death of the academic critic, blaming mortality on a failure to proffer literary value judgment. Despite long-seated ill-ease over critical practices based solely on personal pleasure and response, many academics agree with critic John Carey when he says that values have no validity outside ‘the [...]

Literary Criticism – or the body of critics – should be to the writer what the Roman senate was to the Roman general in the field: an unseen presence sitting sternly in judgment over his blunders; but also voting him a triumph if he did his duty well. Shall I indulge in the sarcasm of [...]

First appeared in Rain Taxi Review of Books by Nigel Beale This book is best read by the light of another, John Carey’s What Good are the Arts? (Oxford University Press, 2006), a witty, truculent, masterful polemic which argues that a “work of art is anything that anyone has ever considered a work of art, [...]