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Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think about Art, Pleasure, Beauty and Truth, Paperback / softback Book

Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think about Art, Pleasure, Beauty and Truth Paperback / softback


Few could explain, let alone seek out, a career in criticism.

Yet what A. O. Scott shows in Better Living Through Criticism is that we are, in fact, all critics: because critical thinking informs almost every aspect of artistic creation, of civil action, of interpersonal life.

With penetrating insight and humour, Scott shows that while individual critics - himself included - can make mistakes and find flaws where they shouldn't, criticism as a discipline is one of the noblest, most creative and urgent activities. Using his own film criticism as a starting point - everything from an infamous dismissal of the international blockbuster The Avengers to his intense affection for Pixar's animated Ratatouille - Scott expands outwards, easily guiding readers through the complexities of Rilke and Shelley, the origins of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones, the power of Marina Abramovic and 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' Scott shows that real criticism was and always will be the breath of fresh air that allows true creativity to thrive.

As he puts it: 'The time for criticism is always now, because the imperative to think clearly, never goes away.'


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House Children's UK
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Film theory & criticism
  • ISBN: 9781910702550

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