The Critic as Artist

Introducing Literary Criticism A Graphic - Owen Holland 2015

The Critic as Artist

Wilde claimed an aesthetic value for criticism arguing, through the character of Gilbert, that:


Criticism is itself an art [and] is really creative in the highest sense of the word.

Wilde argued that criticism is “the record of one’s own soul”, emphasizing bohemian self-cultivation of an aesthetic temperament and taste. T.S. Eliot echoed this view of the creative role of criticism in the last section of “The Function of Criticism” (1923), offering a more explicit retort to Arnold’s strict division between the creative and critical faculties.