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The Critical PulseThirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Critics$
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Jeffrey Williams and Heather Steffen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161152

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161152.001.0001

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Hearing Losses and Gains

Hearing Losses and Gains

(p.42) 5 Hearing Losses and Gains
The Critical Pulse

Craig Womack

Columbia University Press

This chapter presents the author's thoughts about criticism. He says that criticism and theory is a practice whose larger purpose is to reduce human and nonhuman suffering in tangible and nontangible ways. Divorcing his criticism from the reality of pain—of those who cross his path or those whose paths he imagines—would be to his detriment as a critic. A goal of engaging in criticism is to make the world a better place, and he is not embarrassed when someone makes fun of his naïve notions about intervening in the world for some kind of shared human or nonhuman decency. He is less concerned about the theoretical dangers of progressivism than he is about those of living in an intellectual bubble. A further aim of writing criticism and studying theory is to provide a philosophical basis for his activism.

Keywords:   criticism, critics, human suffering, nonhuman suffering, pain, activism

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