Criticism is one of the most inevitable parts of creating any work of art: as it is of common knowledge it gives the author an opportunity to review his/her mistakes, and to give an added gloss to the works of art which he/she is going to create. On the other hand, not all critics can be considered to be adequate. In order to understand the features of a good criticism, different opinions on this issue we have taken into account.
First of all, the points of view of Edwin Denby, Edith Wharthon, and Noel Carrol have much in common, and it is significant that this common bulk of their hypothesis can be noted to provide a precise outlook on criticism and a critic. All of them find that a critic must be well-educated as this kind of professional should make a profound analysis of all aspects of the artistic work. For instance, Noel Carrol indicates that it is not enough for a reviewer to express own point of view as such opinion must be proved by some arguments. These arguments can not be persuasive if a critic does not use to examine some well-researched pieces of information. Edwin Denby notifies that an artistic works’ or performances’ judge is expected to “distinguish between good and bad dance technique, to distinguish between good and bad choreographic craftsmanship, to specify technical inventions”. A critic needs to understand the concept of art; in case of a dance or a ballet critic, his education should comprise some “musical and pictoral experience”. Discussing the ways of criticism which are the most appropriate for analysis of Edith Wharton’s works, it is necessary to agree with Edwin Denby. He adds that a novelist reviewer must take into consideration all up-to-date theories which touch upon writing novels. He admits “the reviewer should be ready and eager to examine and understand these theories”.
On the other hand, it is noteworthy to admit that the points of view on Edwin Denby and Edith Wharthon’s works have some drawbacks, whereas the opinion of Noel Carrol is more adequate. For example, while observing the dance criticism, Edwin Denby states “it is even more difficult to verbalize them for critical discussion. The particular essence of a performance, its human sweep of articulate rhythm in space and in time, has no specific terminology to describe it by (Denby 198). Furthermore, he notes that this lack of terminology is an advantage as, in this way, a review is not too academic for the readership. It is a complicated thing to agree with this statement as the style of a critique is possible to be academic. In this case, a critical article is aimed at a well-educated reader. In accordance with Noel Carrol’s standpoint, a review of high quality can not be characterized by the lack of special terminology as the process of criticizing is quite complicated. It includes several stages: description, classification, contextualization, elucidation, interpretation, and analysis of the artwork on the docket.
What is more, Edwin Denby finds that a well-qualified critic is expected to sharpen the readers’ perception “sometimes to an overall effect, sometimes to a specific detail”. It is evident a dance reviewer needs to understand that his reader does not have an opportunity to watch the visual image of the dance; this is the reason why it is necessary to underscore some details. On the other hand, in this case a critic risks imposing on his individual point of view. Noel Carrol makes this phenomenon impossible as a good argumentation included in the review prevents a critic from forcing up; he can only try to persuade his readers.
Edith Wharthon has her own perspective on criticism. She notifies “references to a collective standard” are not necessary in a review. She states “the greater the critic, the fewer these references should be; the more they are, the safer is the critic who is not great”. On the other angle, in an abundance of cases, for the purpose of making up one’s mind on the issue, it is significant to use some references. When discussing the work process of a writer, it is important to underscore that a writer should use only his individual style whereas referencing to his predecessors is inappropriate in numerous cases. In the case of criticism, referencing is one of its inevitable parts, and Noel Carrol admits it.
The point which both Noel Carrol and Edith Wharthon find correct is “no criticism can be either relevant or interesting, since it is only by viewing the novel as an organic whole, by considering its form and function as one, that the critic can properly estimate its details of style and construction”. Noel Carrol agrees with this statement as he finds that the stages of description and classification are the first ones, and then such stages as elucidation and interpretation should be present. This is the strong position of the both authors’ opinions as a critical review can not be informative and thought-provoking enough, if only pure theoretical facts were taken into consideration in it. The viewpoint of critic and his/her own interpretation must be included.
In conclusion, it is noteworthy to admit that Noel Carrol provided the most adequate view on the features of a well-researched and relevant criticism. It is of common knowledge that, nowadays, the fungal development and the overwhelming success of new critics’ techniques caused numerous innovations in the sphere of criticism of any kind of art. Nevertheless, the theoretical approach of Noel Carrol on criticism can become a sample for an abundance of critics as he provides a clear view on the definition of criticism, the qualification of a critic, the step which he needs to follow while criticizing, the stages of the criticism process, and the structure of a review. The other points of view which were taken into consideration in the paper comprise a lot of strong perspectives which can be useful for a contemporary critic, but, at the same time, those include some uncertainties. This fact also needs to be taken into account.