Chinua Achebe on the meaning of life and the writer’s responsibility in society in a 1994 interview
People still think of critics only as those writers who are telling you whether or not you should read a book or see a film or purchase an album.
Bullshit. The role of the critic is, for me, about connection. How many books have you read that no one else you know has read? It happens to me all the time. There are simply too many books, too many authors, for any two people to have read the same exact list of works. How sad to let all your thoughts and feelings about a given text languish. Well, that’s where critics come in. Through them, I can finally have an enlightened conversation about literature. The critic becomes a stand-in friend so that I can contrast my response to a book against theirs.
In reviewing Dani Shapiro’s Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of the Creative Life (one of 2013’s best books on writing and creativity) and Wendy Lesser’s Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books, The Rumpus's Jonathan Russell Clark offers a beautiful meditation on criticism itself.
Relatedly, some time ago I wrote about the role of the critic as a celebrator for Harvard’s Nieman Reports.(via explore-blog)
Anderson Cooper dons T-Shirt emblazoned with French Fries [x]
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Sheldon explaining fandom life