“I’m as committed to the liberal arts as anyone. But there are ways of rethinking the curriculum that will help [students] with their careers after graduation. This was an experiment for me that confirmed that there are ways of bridging the kind of writing that people want to do after school, with the kinds of things they are studying as English majors.”
--Columbia Shakepeare scholar James Shapiro, quoted in the June 19th edition of The New York Times, on why he created a course on book reviewing. Shapiro frequently contributes book reviews to the Times. In one, on Clive James’s As of This Writing: The Essential Essays, 1968-2002, Shapiro offers a sort of metacritique of the art of reviewing.