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Interesting take on criticism

Here is an interesting take on criticism by the writer Bernard Malamud in an interview given to the Paris Review in 1975.

“ I dislike particularly those critics who preach their aesthetic or ideological doctrines at you. What’s important to them is not what the writer has done but how it fits, or doesn’t fit, the thesis they want to develop.” This can also be seen in Carnatic music where the “knowledgeable” are always keen to try and impose their value systems on the musician. Sometimes the reaction to the music is so determined by the already existing assumption that has been made on how or what should be performed. Every generation of artists keep throwing up the odd rebel who shatter these existing notions and make the “knowledgeable” redefine their expectations. Then the new generation of artistes will suffer from not conforming to this recently formed set of values and so it goes on and on.


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