I have never believed that the critic is the rival of the poet, but I do believe that criticism is a genre of literature or it does not exist.
What matters in literature in the end is surely the idiosyncratic, the individual, the flavor or the color of a particular human suffering.
The creator of Sir John Falstaff, of Hamlet, and of Rosalind also makes me wish I could be more myself. But that, as I argue throughout this book, is why we should read, and why we should read only the best of what has been written.
The world gets older, without getting either better or worse and so does literature. But I do think that the drab current phenomenon that passes for literary studies in the university will finally provide its own corrective.