Auden on the True Task of the Critic

Lots of great insight that far exceeds the bounds of "simple" criticism.

  1. Introduce me to authors or works of which I was hitherto unaware.
  2. Convince me that i have undervalued an author or a work because I had not read them carefully enough.
  3. Show me relations between works of different ages and cultures which I could never have seen for myself because I do not know enough and never shall.
  4. Give a “reading” of a work which increases my understanding of it.
  5. Throw light upon the process of artistic “Making.”
  6. Throw light upon the relation of art to life, to science, economics, ethics, religion, etc.

From Brain Pickings:  Auden on the True Task of the Critic, What It Really Means to Be a Scholar, and Why Malevolent Reviews Are Bad for Character