Criticism As Conversation

Why is it that people expect reviews to have the absolute judgment on whether something was good or not? After a series of complaints about his critics’ critical judgments, the arts editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer [no byline on the online story] feels a little clarification is in order. “Criticism is an argument, done more or less intelligently, that presents years of accumulated experience with a certain rhetorical panache. It is an educated opinion whose point is to further a conversation.”