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Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Heart of Criticism

posted by on October 18 at 11:22 AM

The novel that most directly speaks to the critic, that defines, describes his/her function, mission, purpose, is Heart of Darkness. The narrative of Conrad’s short book is the narrative of any work of criticism. Marlow’s journey to the core of the colonial world has its double—its secret sharer—in the critic’s journey to the core of a work of art. That core is never apolitical. That core is always its truth. Upon reaching the point from which the work (a system of associations) radiates, glows, derives its power or aura, the critic must ask this: does it liberate or does it enslave? It’s one or the other. At the core of the colonial world, Conrad found an oppressor, Kurtz; at the core of other works, the critic might find the opposite: a liberator, a Moses, a Christ, a Muhammad.

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The same goes for Finding Nemo, by the way. Everyone always forgets Finding Nemo, and I don't know why. Apocalypse Now, sure they remember that one, but the clown fish movie? Not so much. Even environmentalists. Go figure.

Posted by elenchos | October 18, 2007 11:44 AM

The first person to say it gets banned from the internet forever.

Posted by Chris in Tampa | October 18, 2007 12:05 PM

I remember Finding Nemo.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 18, 2007 12:08 PM

"a Moses, a Christ, a Muhammad"?

Oh, the horr--!

Posted by Irena | October 18, 2007 12:45 PM

Finding Nemo should have been called Fuck Nemo: The Dory Story. And the movie should have consisted of 10 extra scenes with the school of fish making fun of the annoying dad, and Dory ditching the dad and having wicked fun adventures in the sea.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 18, 2007 12:50 PM

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