Tags » On Criticism

Gorky's 'The Lower Depths'

Theater Plus blog No. 134. I had almost forgotten about this, one of the more liberating blogs I wrote. As a critic I worked hard to maintain neutrality and, more so, to avoid being a smart ass. 1,479 more words


187. (Charles Williams)

When anyone remembers Charles Williams these days, it is probably for one of two reasons. Either they know of Williams through his association with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. 5,227 more words

Brief Essays

A Critic's Back Pages, Part One

Theater Plus blog No. 131. I had the inclination to quit writing criticism many times over the quarter-century that I reviewed Moscow theater. In order to remain sane and in order to avoid falling into traps of repetition I had to dig down deep many times and reinvent what I was doing. 1,284 more words


A Critic Pays His Dues

Theater Plus blog No. 114. Another of my favorites. After awhile as I got into the swing of writing these blogs I began finding fun things to write about. 1,301 more words


181. (William Empson)

Empson’s final words on the poem “Bacchus,” a poem about drink, in one of his statements on it: “I think it sufficiently intelligible to sympathize with.” 2,048 more words

Brief Essays

Russian Answers to American Theatre’s Questions

Theater Plus blog No. 88. American Theatre magazine used to do a cool thing – posting interesting and sometimes provocative questions on their Facebook page. I think that practice fell by the wayside for some time, but I’ve noticed it has come back recently. 1,570 more words

On Criticism

171. (T.S. Eliot)

Among Eliot’s staunchest and nimblest readers, Christopher Ricks was unrelenting in his 1978 attack on Eliot’s late essay, “What is Minor Poetry?”  I offer first a series of quotations from Ricks’ piece, published in  3,748 more words

T.S. Eliot