Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Brief Indulgence in Pessimism

"As a spokesman for newspaper drama critics, Winter defended his coterie against attacks levied by Dion Boucicault in 1889. Boucicault accused critics of being both corrupt and detrimental to the theater. He said they were generally incompetent and biased. Newspapers, said Boucicault, had usurped the public's rightful role as drama's judges. Winter conceded that neither the press nor the public showed very good judgment in evaluating plays, but he argued that newspapers were not corrupting public taste since they had little influence upon their readers."

-- Charles W. Meister, Dramatic Criticism: A History


  1. As I see it, a good theater review shouldn't influence its readers so much as provoke them.

  2. A loftier ambition, to be sure! I guess I wish he would have said, "since no one was reading them."