What value criticism?

As I gradually move closer to critiquing representations of classical texts by living authors these thoughts come forward more often..


Classical scholars do not, generally, have to worry much about the nature of the relationship between the critic and the living author; in the absence of a working time machine, Ovid is never going to have the opportunity to complain furiously about the post-modern nonsense being read into a perfectly straightforward set of poems about Roman festivals, or Euripides to include a critic character in one of his later plays, who comes to an unfortunate and embarrassing end in a sub-plot, in revenge for poor reviews. Yes, there are a few examples of modern authors taking exception to critics and scholars on behalf of their ancient brethren – Yeats’ The Scholars comes to mind, of course, with the old, learned, respectable bald heads making pedantic annotations on heartfelt love poetry – but generally this isn’t an issue, and we don’t tend to take such attacks (or those in Nietzsche’s Wir…

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