Like literature itself, literary criticism may be a thing of the past. Reading for pleasure has almost gone out of existence, replaced by web surfing and texting, exactly as, in the 1920s, musical evenings around the piano were gradually supplanted by record players and radios. Books—current books—are still consumed in quantity, and instantly forgotten, providing the same momentary pleasure as junk food; the notion of a permanent, constantly evolving literary heritage as a part of public awareness is slowly vanishing, along with the professional book reviewer and the magazines and newspapers he wrote for. Such tradition as remains is in the hands of academics, busily promoting their cockamamie theories and spouting their unreadable jargon. The literary critic, the person who loves and pursues the study of literature for its own sake, as an expression of the human spirit, must seem as antique, to this year's college grads, as glassblowers, blacksmiths, and the lacemakers of... More >>>