A Timely Quote

I’m sharing a quote I’ve just scraped from one of my OU books. It’s an amusing paradox because although it’s in my course book, I can’t follow its advice. In a way I have to do the opposite and write about a lot of literary criticism (some of which I’m not making sense of and I’m not sure I want to).

It’s from a letter written by Philip K. Dick in 1981 where he responds to a
critical article (about one of his own novels) he has been sent and confesses that he finds it unreadable.

He writes:

‘Criticism, to be valuable, must make sense and must relate in some way to that which it analyses … [E]verything bad about academic literary criticism is found in this article; it is dull, it is pointless, and its only purpose – if indeed it has a purpose – is to exhibit the education of its author, who, I feel, really should read fewer books and, instead, play frisbie in a park somewhere with some little kids (and I might take that advice myself, in view of my recent writings).

Perhaps we are all spending too much time thinking and reading and writing when we should be out in the sun.’

Dick, 1981

(From The Popular and the Canonical, an A300 coursebook)

Unfortunately,  I now have to spend too much time reading and thinking and writing.

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