chapter  4
36 Pages

‘Unconscious Partitionism’: Northern Criticism in the Eighties

For the Common Reader represented, not the great heart o f the people, but the competent, the cultivated, in general; and these represented the cultural tradition and the standards o f taste it informed. And the competent, with their more-than-individual judgement, their better-than-individual taste, were common, for to be born into a homogeneous culture is to move among signals o f a limited variety, illustrating one predominant pervasive ethos, grammar and idiom (consider what the eighteenth century did with Homer) and to acquire discrimination as one moves.