Thursday, April 12, 2012

Are Critics Artists?

It's an old cliche, "Everyone's a critic."  While it may be easy to be critical, it is not easy to be a critic.  Real criticism takes a work of art, literature, or film and uses it as the basis for an insightful discussion that weaves together history, philosophy, and the technical side of the work's field to create a sense of meaning that may or may not be in the work itself. 

Because good criticism can create meaning that transcends that of the object of criticism, we can ask whether criticism itself is an art form.  A poet writing sonnets is bound by a form.  A critic is constrained by the need to work with what is offered by the work.  The two seem similar.  On the other hand, the critic is commenting on, not creating.  Or is she?  Is criticism its own form of art?