is chair of the Literature Department at Purchase College, State University of New York; and the books columnist for Commonweal. His reviews and essays have appeared in the Atlantic, the Baffler, Book Post, the Boston Globe, Lit Hub, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other places.
Sundays, November 13–December 11, 2022
Criticism has been described, at different times and by different people, as "higher gossip," "persuasive redescription," "possessed reading," and "the performance of thought." In this workshop, we will discuss why we read criticism: to become more intelligent readers; to sharpen our own taste by testing it against someone else's; to be entertained. We will discuss why we write criticism: to see literary structure and style more clearly; to persuade others of our own responses; to come to know, in deeper and truer ways, how we feel about things. And we will discuss the tools—authority, wit, rigor, playfulness—that are needed to write good criticism. To ground these conversations, we will read a (very) short novel in three of the workshop's four weeks.
Sundays, November 13–December 11, 2022 (no class November 27)
3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. ET
Online on Zoom
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