An Essay on Criticism; my critique

Typically, I aim not to judge. I am a solid believer that Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder and whoever is beholding it. I aim not to judge because I understand my sentiments differs from others. At a young age, I discovered this very valuable lesson, my view and my take, my taste on something on anything can be extremely different than that of another and it be acceptable to ALL. At the same time, I also know and appreciate My taste to be of quality and of great standard, just a matter of preference.

“But you who seek to give and merit Fame, And justly bear a Critick’s noble Name, Be sure your self and your own Reach to know.  How far your Genius, Taste and Learning go; Launch not beyond your Depth, but be discreet, And mark that Point where Sense and Dulness meet.”  (An Essay on Criticism, Alexander Pope) puts it best, Know your self and start judgment there.  What is your credibility? What authority credits you to your say so? Who gives you the right to judge me?  These are fair questions of the judged.   If I were in a beauty pageant then I would expect judgment and seek it in my favor. If I were on America’s Got Talent, or the Voice or any place where I am highlighting my skills in search of approval and seeking votes, the critic and criticism are necessary. These “judgments” should then aid me to improve and refine my shared quality or it will damage and demean my soulful works. Alexander Pope discussed at great length the Wit and Judgment and its place and position. Again, how “judgment” can be perceived is everything.  It can refine how people of certain stature and standard approve their own taste, their own “beauty” and can mean everything to them.

So, I say typically I am not a judge. I give my opinion I express it and I will let one know of my perception. I don’t aim to be called a “judge” unless I am a judge of a contest where there is sure to be a forerunner and it is necessary to put in a ranking order. I just don’t care to make my way the only way even if it is the best way. You too, are entitled to have a great opinion as myself.  “As among the works of nature no man can properly call a river deep or a mountain high, without the knowledge of many mountains and many rivers; so in the productions of genius, nothing can be stilled excellent till it has been compared with the works of the same kind.” Preface to Shakespeare, Samuel Jackson edited by Jack Lynch.

While dining out, I will often ask a wait-staff what their favorite thing on the menu is, often they are quick to share their favorite dish. I ask because that person spends significant time at establishment, what is often ordered what comes back, what they often eat for themselves.  They know what is that one thing that stand out and becomes a guest “must” have and I try this with the respect that this recommendation comes from an established “taste”. Again, taste will differ from person to person. As will the works we have read this week…. fundamentally; reality, imagination, values, knowledge, reason and pure existence differ. From culture to culture, from time era to time era, we transition and change. From the lecture it is noted a time period when woman did not show their ankles or any portion of their body, a woman’s body was a illusion and over the course of time has come and evolved, whereas today, 21st Century, what won’t women wear? This is a sign of liberation, release and freedom that didn’t exist at that time, sexually or just in the general sense, evolved into a liberation of taste. i.e. The dress wore by Grammy award winning singer Rhianna in the past couple of weeks. Is this an example of an Evolved sense of taste?


If I am the judge, Given the credentials to be familiar with said topic, subject, or activity, I become the “judge” of all things relevant. A critique on a body of work that gives a critical evaluation.  If taste of  Rhianna’s dress, on my behalf had to vote, or had a judgment or say so, as well all do, it  was fantastic for her, others will judge differently. We all have opinion to share. Necessary. “Not free from Faults, not yet too vain to mend.” (Pope, An Essay on Criticism)


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