Keeping the Conversation Going

Malala Yousafzai, Svetlana Alexievich and Shakespeare

I think of literary criticism as a conversation: an author speaks to an audience, which responds with comments, questions, sometimes praise, and sometimes disparagement. The discussion can last for centuries. In the case of Shakespeare, for instance, in 1592, early in his career, he was dismissed by fellow writer Robert Greene as an “upstart crow beautified with our feathers” and mocked as a “Shake-scene” (whatever that is).

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