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On the importance of literary criticsm

The news this week has been, to say the least, demoralizing. Everything that I know about the Virginia Tech massacre I know from the Times and from the few Web logs that I've read that have mentioned it. There is really nothing to say that hasn't been said in response to other recent American disasters.

It was fun, sort of, to read the excoriating editorial about the Attorney General, "Gonzalez v Gonzalez," in today's paper. But then it stopped being fun. That such a doofus could rise to a position of eminence is proof that our political culture is both corrupt and demented.

So pardon me while I take refuge in my ivory tower.

¶ Cynthia Ozick on critics; Siddhartha Debs on Roberto Bolaño, in Harper's.


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