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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: February ::
Re: Reviews
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0381  Wednesday, 26 February 2003

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Feb 2003 17:13:54 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0360 Re: Reviews

[2]     From:   Graham Hall <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 26 Feb 2003 09:58:30 +0000
        Subj:   A Farewell to criticism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Tuesday, 25 Feb 2003 17:13:54 -0000
Subject: 14.0360 Re: Reviews
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0360 Re: Reviews

"The artists have already completed their work, and it stands,
vulnerable, as it is. This to me is so much braver and more interesting
than the armchair speculations of people who have never known what it is
to be vulnerable in their own work, who seldom if ever acknowledge that
nothing can be created without the bravery of the artist... I'd have to
say no critic has ever come close to giving us what the artists they
criticize have. Without the artists, in fact, they cannot even exist".

This is far too easy. For a start, as Johnson put it, it's like saying
we should give up our right to criticise the carpenter who makes us a
rickety chair. I may not be a carpenter, but I know what a chair is
supposed to do.  It also ignores the fact that artists respond to
critics just as surely as critics respond to artists (I liked the chair
you made for my friend - but could you make one for me with a higher
back, and without armrests?). Quite a few critics were artists too, of
course - Horace, Dante, Ronsard, Sidney, Daniel, Jonson, Dryden, Pope,
Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Arnold, Eliot... One only has to
consider how far new productions of Shakespeare's plays incorporate new,
"armchair" readings of those plays to understand that this is one of
those chicken-and-egg questions.

Best to acknowledge that there is an "art of criticism" that is just as
valid as the arts it represents, challenges, interprets...

martin

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Wednesday, 26 Feb 2003 09:58:30 +0000
Subject:        A Farewell to criticism

(Weinstein. 23 Feb)
"Similarly, Mr. Hall's jocular pan of "Romeo & Juliet, The Musical"
(November 25, 2002) is a string of conclusory statements conveying the
single message "It stinks" in a variety of humorous ways."

And there was I shortening my digits on my laptop and ruining my
eyeballs scanning the British Press Arts Sections thinking I was
constructing a witty parody of the professional critics of the time. Ah
me! Sad hours!  I think I'll go and live a fool the rest of my dull
life.

But enough, this text is now foolish and for me the thread has run
ragged.  What is more, I am required to provide instantly a viva voce
critical appreciation of "The Mr Men" (vols 10 and 21) by Charlotte (age
4) and Christopher (age 3). The dilemma is, shall I offer a jocular pan
or a strawberry lollipop.Hmmmmm.......

Boo!

Grandad Hall

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