** Better Living Through Criticism by A.O. Scott

Better Living Through Criticism: How To Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth reads alternatively as an anguished defense of criticism as bona fide art and a careful analysis of the role of critics and literature and the arts (the author being a film reviewer). Naturally, I preferred the latter and did not quite understand why such an aggressive defense of the genre was necessary. Of course critics will themselves have their critics. For instance, if the author likes the movie Ratatouille then he should say stand no one should find it objectionable as long as he does not think of himself as the arbiter of good taste. Maybe that’s the whole problem.


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