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Book review: Better Living Through Criticism by AO Scott

By Tanjil Rashid   May 2016

cover.jpg.rendition.460.707Penguin, £12.99

AO Scott’s Better Living Through Criticism presents a problem for the reviewer. Any review is unlikely to live up to those written by the book’s author, a critic whose insights into cinema have graced the New York Times for two decades. Moreover, this review of a reviewer’s book about reviewing will only exemplify the “parasitism of criticism” that, Scott believes, brings his profession into disrepute. What’s the point of criticism when we have art itself, without which we couldn’t have criticism anyway?

Scott’s answer is that criticism is an art. It…

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