Saturday 4 November 2023

Quis custodiet ipsos censores?

Marilynne Robinson, When I Was a Child I Read Books (London: Virago Press, 2012), p. 95:

We are culturally predisposed to sheltering criticism from criticism; we have enshrined the iconoclast. If our feelings register some minor shock, or if we suppose the public might be somewhat irked, or even if we think we can discern some earnest hope on the part of a writer to irk or to offend ourselves or our neighbors, then a book is praised as a creditable effort and excused from the kind of attention that might raise questions about its actual novelty or merit.