Wasserman on Criticism.

Proof that you never know where you’ll find good writing and thinking, and, thus, why you should read deeply and broadly:

A culture filled with smooth and familiar consumptions produces in people rigid mental habits and stultified conceptions. They know what they know, and they expect to find it reinforced when they turn a page or click on a screen. Difficulty annoys them, and, having become accustomed to so much pabulum served up by a pandering and invertebrate media, they experience difficulty not just as “difficult,” but as insult.

. . .

The ideal of serious enjoyment of what isn’t instantly understood is rare in American life. It is under constant siege. It is the object of scorn from both the left and the right. The pleasures of critical thinking ought not to be seen as belonging to the province of an elite. They are the birthright of every citizen. For such pleasures are at the very heart of literacy, without which democracy itself is dulled. More than ever, we need a defense of the Eros of difficulty.

—Steve Wasserman

Wasserman, Steve. “In Defense of Difficulty.” The American Conservative, 18 Mar. 2015. Web. 29 Mar. 2015

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