I remember, too, something that Vendler wrote, years later, in a piece about a volume of Merrill’s work that was published after the poet’s death, at the relatively early age of sixty-eight—about how, now that Merrill was gone, he wouldn’t be around to show her how to grow old. I read this with astonishment. So this was what poetry was for: to show you how to live. As for Kael, the sheer extremity of her enthusiasms, the ornery stylistic over-seasoning, the grandiose swooping pronouncements, made it clear that there was something enormous at stake when you went to the local movie theatre.A thoughtful, instructive, and balanced essay.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Knowledge + taste = meaningful judgment
The excellent Daniel Mendelsohn, sings his creed at Page-Turner on the job of a critic. (The title for this post is his formula, not mine.)