I confess to having been more stirred by the words of an actress I know whom I encountered in a theater lobby a couple of months ago. She introduced me to her boyfriend as follows: “Terry isn’t just a writer and a critic–he’s an artist, too. He’s writing an opera!”
This is a distinction whose significance I unhesitatingly admit. As far as I’m concerned, critics aren’t artists. In my capacity as a critic and biographer, I think of myself as an artisan–a craftsman. One of the reasons why I believe this to be so is because I used to be an artist back in the days when I was a professional musician. That fact has conditioned my approach to criticism….
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