The tragedy of critique
DOI link for The tragedy of critique
The tragedy of critique book
Introducing critique as a problem, this chapter addresses both Critique with a capital ‘C’ and critiques in the plural as discourses produced within society. It briefly surveys the implicit claims made for Critique by Critics, and then problematises these in turn using the sociology of critique and post-critical reading. However, rather than criticising critique, the endeavour is to understand critique, even acknowledging the ‘tragedy of critique’, in that critiques generate unanticipated consequences and are variously taken on and redeployed to different purposes. The spread of unmasking on all sides, liberal, socialist, feminist, anti-feminist, nationalist, universalist is clearly evident, leading to interminable debates of reciprocal accusations. Illustratively, the chapter ends by surveying criticism around childbirth and parenting, simply to indicate the vast range of criticism in modernity.