Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Being Criticulous...

This was going to be a pompous definition of the role of the critic. Then I realised that the critic's function will be understood differently, and has a variety of intentions. Instead, this is a pompous statement of what I try to do as a critic. I'll note my failure.

To describe what is happening from my perspective
Even if it is not always clear, my writing is aware of its own subjectivity. Knowing that other critics will give their opinion, I do not worry about capturing every possible meaning, but dwell on those areas that matter to me (and my speculative audience, if I can). 
Failure: sometimes I believe my analysis is totally right. 

To act as a supporter of the importance of art
This is not the same as being a cheerleader. However, I affirm that all art has importance - I put this in the context of encouraging debate, allowing self-expression and building community. Recognising that importance is not just a matter of saying it is good, but continuing the discussions it provokes - or even suggesting new discussions.
Failure: I rely on churnalism to do this.

To encourage discussion
The best way for me to do this is maintain my opinion and give a position that can be argued against. Discussion can be uncomfortable, but it is helped by honesty.
Failure: I am often too timid and balance my opinions, creating a mushy and vague fake argument.

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