“International scholarship on Coetzee, with some exceptions, involves walking one step behind the novelist, collecting the allusions he scatters to Foucault or Levinas or Derrida and arranging them reverently in his honour, which is also to the honour of pure literature.
Imran Coovadia, 2012, Transformations: Essays.
“The role of the critic is to help people see what is in the work, what is in it that shouldn’t be, what is not in that could be.”
Pauline Kael, 1965, I Lost It At The Movies.
“Empirical statements that claim truth depend upon evidence; statements that claim truthfulness depend upon our acceptance of them. My acceptance is the way I respond to them, and not everyone is capable of the response, or willing for it. I put this by saying that a true statement is something we know or do not know; a truthful statement is one we must acknowledge or fail or refuse to acknowledge.”
Stanley Cavell, 1971, The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film.
“A work one cares about is not so much something one has read as something one is a reader of; connection with it goes on, as with any relation one cares about.”
Stanley Cavell, 1981, Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Romance.
“Disillusion is what fits us for reality, whether in Plato’s terms or D.W. Winnicott’s. But then we must be assured that this promise is based on a true knowledge of what our illusions are.”
Stanley Cavell, 1984, Themes Out of School: Effects and Causes.
“The alternative to our contemporary humanitarian culture of human rights is not doing nothing. It is doing something else – and perhaps something better.”
Samuel Moyn, 2014, Human Rights and the Uses of History.