Monday, May 2, 2016

Exaggerated claims don’t strengthen the case

Well put. From a review of books to do with Dorothy Parker. Advocates of all stripes are prone to the sin of exaggeration to get attention to their underpowered claim.
And here is Regina Barreca, a professor of English literature and feminist theory at the University of Connecticut, in her introduction to the Penguin edition of the Complete Stories: “If Parker’s work can be dismissed as narrow and easy, then so can the work of Austen, Eliot, and Woolf.” Well, no. Exaggerated claims don’t strengthen the case for Parker’s literary accomplishments. As is inevitably the case with criticism grounded in agenda, they diminish it. But this doesn’t mean that her work is without value or interest.

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