John Russell, who wrote for the New York Times for many years, died on Saturday. His Times obituary included the following quote from Reading Russell, a collection of his critical essays:
I do not see my role as primarily punitive. There are artists whose work I dread to see yet again, dance-dramas that in my view have set back the American psyche several hundred years, composers whose names drive me from the concert hall, authors whose books I shall never willingly reopen. But it has never seemed to me much of an ambition to go though life snarling and spewing.
I very much wish I’d said that. It’s exactly how I feel about what I do, and now that I’ve seen it put so lucidly, I mean to try even harder to live up to it.