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Adam Gopnik: Why Write About Writing? or, How Dr. Johnson Can Save Your Life

Is criticism "good" for anything? Is the relation of the critic to the artist like that of a doctor to a patient, or is it, as the essayist and critic Adam Gopnik has recently suggested, more "like that of the bearded lady to the trapeze artist, a sadder act in the same big show"? Using Samuel Johnson's writing and conversation as a model of what good critical writing ought to be, Gopnik will attempt to define some rough and ready principles to tell good writing about writing from bad writing about writing, and criticism that enlivens readers from the kind that merely deadens books. 



Wednesday, May 13, 2009. 07:00PM