Anyone is a Critic — but Shouldn’t be

I’m not sure what got me started on this yesterday.  It could have been the fact that I was in a bookstore to pick up something I probably won’t have time to read soon. The book is Pamela; Or, Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson.  Pamela is an Eighteenth Century epistolary novel which I hadn’t heard of until I read Vivien Jones’s 1996 introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I had already finished reading Pride and Prejudice by the time I looked at the introduction.  Ms. Jones alluded to Pamela, and made it clear that the book … Continue reading Anyone is a Critic — but Shouldn’t be

Bertolucci’s Insensitive Sensationalism

I’ve never been a fan of Bernardo Bertolucci’s films, although I’ve seen only two — Last Tango In Paris, and the abridged version of 1900. I saw both on VHS tapes when I was in my thirties, and believe fair, adult-level thought helped me reach a conclusion: The movies were hollow and sensational.  They were made to shock and gross out the audience, and leave gullible people thinking they’d seen something unique. In the United States, we’re too easily impressed by films made on other continents, and if one of us suggests a foreign film has more pretense than substance there’s hell to … Continue reading Bertolucci’s Insensitive Sensationalism