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When it comes to evaluating schema, I'm not going to trust someone who only had English 101 Larry Send a noteboard - 21/02/2012 11:26:03 AM

By "you," referencing the attitudes of those who dismiss out of hand authors who have earned some sort of cultural cachet in favor of what? Would I trust a non-expert to fix my car? To diagnose a medical condition? To do my taxes?

Of course not. Then why would I want to trust a non-expert when it comes to evaluating things such as music, literature, and cinema? I've learned something of the first and last through observation, but I've also discovered that there's a ton of people with shit tastes.

If you've never read The Magic Mountain or Doctor Faustus and want to praise Brandon Sanderson of all people for what he writes, there truly is no accounting for taste.

I agree with the crux of your point, but how the hell can you compare a literary/art critic with a mechanic, accountant or a doctor? No art critic can make definitive, objective, true-in-all-contexts statements about what is "good" and what is not.


I suspect you're purposely missing the point. A literary expert is going to be aware of how texts can be evaluated and s/he is going to be much more well-read than the typical "I read only Dan Brown and his ilk" reader of less than five books a year. Someone who is not well-read is worthless to me when I'm looking for an educated opinion on particular books. Who would you trust to know something about Nazi era religious history: me, whose graduate research delved directly into that topic, with literature read in multiple languages, or the homeless guy living under the bridge who dropped out of high school?

If you honestly say the other guy, I'll never listen to a word you say again ;)

You can trust a doctor to fix your body and not a random guy because there is definite knowledge a doctor has is real.

If you "trust" an art critic to tell you what is good, then you're hopeless. The best a critic can do is explain his personal reaction to any work in terms that can help you choose. The best of them will compare with other relevant works, explore the context of the work, etc., and the worst will simply use a points or star system. Either way, you read multiple reviews, compare the critics view with your own, and "trust" him or not on the basis of how much your tastes match. Hardly a scientific process.


The only concession I'll make is that there can be different weighting to certain things. No expert worth her/his salt is going to evaluate a work that works only on a single level higher than a work that works highly on multiple levels. Now if you can find someone who is well-versed in Anglo-American literature (or any national literature) who would place greater value on say a Piers Anthony novel than a Doestoevsky, Mann, James, Joyce, Woolf, etc., then I might be shocked for one of the few times in my life.
Illusions fall like the husk of a fruit, one after another, and the fruit is experience. - Narrator, Sylvie

Je suis m├ęchant.
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You sound like one of those nasty "literary elites"! - 20/02/2012 08:07:13 PM 1222 Views
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Conversely, why should I trust the likes of you? - 21/02/2012 06:19:18 AM 1429 Views
Oh, come now... - 21/02/2012 10:35:18 AM 1353 Views
When it comes to evaluating schema, I'm not going to trust someone who only had English 101 - 21/02/2012 11:26:03 AM 1154 Views
Mostly agreed - 21/02/2012 09:00:51 PM 1236 Views
Mostly true - 21/02/2012 09:27:09 PM 1272 Views
Re: Mostly true - 22/02/2012 12:58:55 AM 1109 Views
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Amusing - 21/02/2012 07:49:20 PM 1210 Views
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Re: There's "subjective", and there's "lack of education" - 21/02/2012 09:23:38 PM 1380 Views
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