An Uncommon Reader


It is not expected of critics that they should help us to make sense of our lives; they are bound only to attempt the lesser feat of making sense of the ways we try to make sense of our lives.

At some very low level, we all share certain fictions about time, and they testify to the continuity of what is called human nature, however conscious some, as against others, may become of the fictive quality of these fictions.

This is an age of theory, and theory is both difficult and usually not related to anything that meets the wider interest I speak of.

—Frank Kermode
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