A writer-editor-teacher’s quote of the week #5

“Is the objective result of criticism to formulate, understand and develop their own responses? To open a text to a common reader? Or is it to make the reader feel excluded from the critical enterprise, sense his or her responses to a work as essentially irrelevant to the process of its exploration? The latter results has,  it seems to me, the concomitant effect – or, perhaps I should say, underlying motive – of confirming the position, the cultural power of the critic himself . . .”

– from “Caste, Class and Canon” by Paul Lauter, found in A Gift of Tongues: Critical Challenges in Contemporary American Poetry

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