Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

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Beautifully stated.


This post reminds me of a passage I've always loved from William H. Gass' excellent introduction to The Recognitions:

"No great book is explicable, and I shall not attempt to explain this one. An explanation--indeed, any explanation--would defile it, for reduction is precisely what a work of art opposes. Easy answers, convenient summaries, quiz questions, annotations, arrows, highlight influences, an outline of its design--useful as sometimes such helps are--nevertheless seriously mislead. Guidebooks are useful, but only to what is past. Interpretation replaces the original with the lamest sort of substitute. It takes, disarms. "Okay, I get it," we say, dusting our hands, "and that takes care of that." "At last I understand Kafka" is a foolish and conceited remark."

steve mitchelmore

Thanks for helping me out there Dan. I couldn't have expressed it so well. I was expecting - perhaps deliberately provoking - comments asserting that my loathing was due entirely to snobbery. Such an opinion would, I think, only reveal a lack of interest in literature.


Spectacular post.

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