Saturday, October 24, 2009

From which its beauties are visible

"...[the literary critic's] aim should be to interpret the work they are writing about and to help readers to appreciate it, by defining and analysing those qualities that make it precious and by indicating the angle of vision from which its beauties are visible.

But many critics do not realise their function. They aim not to appreciate but to judge; they seek first to draw up laws about literature and then to bully readers into accepting these laws... [but] you cannot force a taste on someone else, you cannot argue people into enjoyment." --from Library Looking Glass: A Personal Anthology by David Cecil (via Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill)