The place of literary criticism

A second Zadie Smith quote, also from Changing My Mind: “Here’s the funny thing about literary criticism: it hates its own times, only realizing their worth twenty years later.” This is remarkably close to what I wrote to a friend not long ago, concerning why I like blogging despite the fact that I’m also enmeshed in an academic context that only values peer-reviewed articles and books: “English profs always show up to a fire long after the house has been burned down and the fire already long extinguished.”

Blogging, if the blogger is any good, offers the possibility of getting to the fire when it’s still going, or even building a fire of your own. Maybe in twenty years this will be more widely recognized.

Life: Love edition

“[T]he choice one makes between partners, between one man and another (or one woman and another) stretches beyond romance. It is, in the end, the choice between values, possibilities, futures, hopes, arguments (shared concepts that fit the world as you experience it), languages (shared words that fit the world as you believe it to be) and lives.”

—Zadie Smith, Changing My Mind

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