The Art of Criticism as Taught by JOHN SIMON

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SIMON_John - headshot "Everybody is a critic now!" the saying goes in this day of the Internet and iCritic and YouTube postings. True criticism is a genuine art form as valid as the art it criticizes. Everybody's critical faculty can be cultivated beyond thumbs up, thumbs down, and the often-heard "I know nothing about it, but I know what I like.!" "The Art of Crticism" course aims to train the potential critic in everyone to emerge and develop, and be able to distinguish between sound and superficial criticism from others while formulating and refining his or her own critiques. There will be intensive readings in, and discussions of, literary, drama and film criticism, as well as in some important but little-known fiction, drama and cinema, all up for students to hone their critical acumen on. Also some looks at fine arts and music criticism. Students will write weekly reviews of things read or seen (e.g., movies and live theater) to be evaluated by both the instructor and classmates. Result: knowing not only what one likes or dislikes, but also the reasons why. The best efforts may well be publishable.

This courrse will be taught by John Simon in eleven two-hour sessions at the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute at the Center for Continuing Education. Inquire at www.sarahlawrence.edu/writinginstitute or by phone at 914) 395-2205

The Art of Criticism

Instructor: John Simon
Thursdays, 3 – 5 p.m.
September 22 – December 8
No class November 24
11 sessions; Tuition: $575
Register online»

John Simon holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University, and for 50 years has written literary, dramatic, and film criticism as well as essays about music and fine arts for such publications as The New York Times,New York MagazineBloomberg NewsThe Hudson ReviewThe New LeaderEsquireCommonwealThe New Republic,The NationThe New Criterion, and The Weekly Standard, among others. He has written or edited 17 books of theatre, film, or literary criticism and taught at several colleges and universities. Currently he covers theatre for The Westchester Guardian and the Yonkers Tribune.

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