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 Critics - Their Place, Importance - and Nature

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Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Critics - Their Place, Importance - and Nature   Thu 14 Sep 2017, 16:11

An obit for the recently late Sir Peter Hall mentions his letter to the critic  Sheridan Morley..... an interesting first name that may have influenced his pen.

Apparently, Hall took him to task in a strong  letter, of which the final paragraph reads, "The poor fellow, hardened by years of giving it out regularly, has forgotten how to take it. The end of this sad story can be the ultimate  vanity: the critic who will not hear one word of criticism about himself."

No mention of what the upshot of this was. Hall being prolific in the production  and direction of many works theatrical and operatic gave opportunity for a comeback, I suppose.

Does anyone ever take the critics to task?  There are a few famous ones who with flash and witty pens must have caused many a heart flutter in their time - Brian Sewell and AA Gill spring to mind but what of others - and do their thoughts - and their little stars really count?.
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Virgo Vestalis Maxima

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Join date : 2011-12-30
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PostSubject: Re: Critics - Their Place, Importance - and Nature   Fri 15 Sep 2017, 11:20

A perfect judge will read each work of wit
With the same spirit that its author writ;

[Pope An Essay on Criticism 1709]


"Wit" here means intelligence, not trying to be funny. The word "critic" comes from the Greek word for a judge - but somehow in English it always seems to mean a faultfinder or a caviller.

Poor old Robert Greene was an early critic of Willie Wobbleweapon and was very scathing about our Willie's arrogance in thinking he could "bombast out a blank verse"just like a properly educated person (ie someone who had a university degree). Called WW some very nasty names, including "upstart crow", and accused him of plagiarism. As if WW ever pinched anyone else's ideas! Robert now has a TV comedy programme "Upstart Crow" written just for him. He has a bit part in it and Willie's the hero.

Despite his Cambridge degree, Greene ended up scraping a living as an alcoholic hack writer, while the upstart crow became - er - William Shakespeare.

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