PRINT November 1987


The waiting typewriter.

“I SAW THE SHOW twice, but I’m still thinking about it. I’m sorry, I still don’t know what I think.” Or, “I know you think I don’t ‘like’ your work, but ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ isn’t what makes a critic want to write about something. I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry my being a critic seems to define the nature of our relationship,” “I’m sorry I can’t do that”. . . . Criticism means always having to say you’re sorry.

Criticism does not mean receiving respect for one’s opinions, even when it means respect for one’s byline. Nor does it mean that other art-world citizens will refrain from concluding that one’s need for art must be secondary if one is not making, acquiring, or distributing it. Criticism cannot presume to be closer to the creative epicenter than those activities, but it still has its life in the desires and claims of art. Criticism is not mere connoisseurship; it is not a matter of judging

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