Selected Works of Lu Hsun - Vol. 4

Selected Works of Lu Hsun - Vol. 4

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Selected Works of Lu Hsun - Vol. 4

Selected Works of Lu Hsun - Vol. 4

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Times certainly change! Up to last year all critics as well as those who were not critics were criticizing literature, and naturally most of them were dissatisfied, though a few found something good to say. But last year there was a volte-face: men of letters as well as those who were not men of letters started criticizing the critics.

This time very few have anything good to say. The most extreme will not admit that there have been any genuine critics of late. If they admit it, they roar with laughter at the fellows' stupidity. Why? Because critics so frequently have their own particular yardstick which they hold up against a work. If the work measures up to it, well and good; if not, it must be bad.

But does the history of literary criticism disclose a single critic without a definite yardstick? All without exception have one. It may be beauty, it may be truth, it may be human progress. Your real freak would be the critic without a yardstick. A magazine may claim unlimited range, but there precisely lies its limitation, the handkerchief used to camouflage sleight-of-hand. Thus an editor who believes in "art for art's sake" and professes to be impartial, finds scope in book reviews alone for plenty of tricks. If a book belongs to the school of "art for art's sake" and suits his taste, he may publish an article praising this school or a review lauding the work to the skies. Or he may print a pseudo-radical appraisal, posing as an out-and-out revolutionary, to ram it into the ground. So dust is thrown into the readers' eyes. But a man with any memory cannot be so in-

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