When I was a teenager and first became aware of criticism as a profession, Clive Barnes was one of its very biggest names. Born in 1927, Barnes had come to this country in 1965 to work for the New York Times. Right from the start, he was the kind of writer who got written about, in part because he had two arrows in his critical quiver: he covered dance and, theater, and did so with self-evident relish. At some point it occurred to me that I, too, might want to write about more than one subject, and I have no doubt that Barnes’ example was part of what inspired me to do so….
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