The Work of a Critic

The Work of a Critic 1

Katherine Streeter for The Chronicle Review

The role of critics varies greatly according to the mission they imagine for themselves and the audience they address. Academic critics writing for their peers will take a different tack from public critics speaking to a general audience, or from writers themselves using criticism to carve out a space for their own work. Surprisingly, novelists and especially poets have proved to be among our best critics. Poet-critics from Samuel Johnson to T.S. Eliot form the main line of the English