IT'S ALL VERY CURIOUS, ISN'T IT?

ONE of the oldest problems of the rationale of criticism is that of accounting for differences of opinion on the part of the critics. ERNEST NEWMAN.

A critic is a tub that must stand on its own bottom.

For his readers' sake a critic must have the arrogance to put himself in the position of the leading authority from which there can be no appeal . . . . The reader of dramatic criticism must feel that his mentor is in no possible doubt whatever. JAMES AGATE.

I would never attempt now—whatever fond dreams I have permitted myself on the matter in the past—to write what might be called a positive book on criticism . . . . A constructive theory of criticism is impossible at present; but much good work can be done along purely destructive lines. Instead of blindly and blandly repeating the blunders in our own work—as we all do—of the Hanslisks, the Davisons, the Scudos, the Chorleys, and all the rest of them, would it not be advisable to try to find out why these critics went so completely wrong in spite of the fact that they imagined

-85-

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The Flying Wasp
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Flying Wasp *
  • Contents v
  • Overture vii
  • The Public Death of Shakespeare i
  • National Theatre Bunkum I 11
  • England, Say When 29
  • The Cutting of an Agate 39
  • Three Cheers for Noah 51
  • Murdher in the Theatre 57
  • Mr. Ervine's Cry for the Critics 69
  • Sainte-Beuve, Patron of Poor Playwriters, Pray for Us! 79
  • It's All Very Curious, Isn't It? 85
  • Poor Pinero Passes By 107
  • Green Goddess of Realism 111
  • Coward Codology: I. 129
  • Coward Codology : II 141
  • Coward Codology: III 153
  • Shakespeare Lives in London Lads 163
  • Critici Infallibilibombast 169
  • Let the Wheel Turn 179
  • Pro-Per Proscenium 183
  • Hail, Columbia! 195
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