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January 31, 2008


Jeremy Parzen

New criticism? now you're pressing MY buttons.

Nietzsche said G-d was dead...

Barthes said the author was dead...

Allen said Marx was dead (and that he wasn't feeling so good himself)...

A propos Allen, the Italian press said that Freud was dead...

Not that I wish the man ill, but will it be in our lifetime that the Emperor dies?

Great post, great analogy... I used to head-to-head with those critical theory folks back in my grad days (me, the philologist, that is)...

Terence Dominic Hughes, Jr.

Emperor, and don't forget his Rasputin.

A propos New Crit, it was at its peak of sinewy strength when I was an undergrad, lo those many years ago [SFX: wind moaning under eaves]. I was but a lowly scholarship boy, but even I realized those people were zealots and wrong.

Calls to mind an analogy with another field, journalism, where "objectivity," a point of view neutral doctrine of reporting, was worshiped. I didn't see how that was possible. Now the very idea seems as quaint as dunking witches.


Dressner almost looks like a young Dennis Hopper.

Jeremy Parzen

Not to take this too far, but here goes...

what if wine writers approached the subject like Stein's Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas... is that what wine writing is? writing (read self-fashioning) autobiography by writing biography as faux-auto-biography? uh oh, I feel a post coming on...

Fredric Koeppel

Don't forget that the New Criticism evolved not only in reaction to "impressionistic" or "psychological" criticism but to the strict Marxist critical theories of the 1930s and '40s, a stance that refused to see literature as anything but social and political and ignored artistic and narrative concerns. If you go back and read some of the seminal works of New Criticism, like the essays in Cleanth Brooks' "The Well-Wrought Urn," they're still exhilerating and chastening. Think of double blind tasting as the New Criticism of the wine world; it's just you and a glass of wine and no clues except for the color, nothing about place, climate, people or tradition; no context. That's the situation where real learning (and humbling) occur. Not that I don't think that place, climate, people and tradition aren't important; you know that I esteem those qualities highly. The ultimate test, though, occurs at the most basic level: a glass of wine and the taster's senses, intellect and experience.


Marco, it would be as you say if JD ever showed his own mug. I think he's hiding something.

FK, I had forgotten that - cue SFX again - and Cleanth Brooks...! In the Wayback machine. Grazie, professore.


Dr J,
Was that Woody Allen saying tha Groucho Marx is dead?


I prefer "its good shit" to represent a high score.


Well, that isn't any worse than the old "It's an amusing little wine, full of pretension" and other such nonsense that wine snobs were known for in bygone times.

Maybe we ought to go with:

I lika

If really lika, just add the appropriate number of pluses:

I lika +++++

(Could be 100 pointer)

I no lika

I no lika ----

(This is real crap)



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