49:33 minutes (23.79 MB)
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When I got out of college, I knew almost nothing about the real world. Even more disturbingly, I didn't seem top know much about Western Civilization, despite all the time and money spent on educating me.
In many ways, what I know today about Sibelius and Grieg and Degas and Bougoureau and the Tempest and Hedda Gabler and Duke Ellington and James Joyce and George Bernard Shaw and the Sex Pistols and Milos Forman and Colleen Dewhurst and Dave Brubeck came from one long stint as the low man on the totem pole in the arts and entertainment department of the Hartford Courant, where I was the Archie Goodwin for a cohort of Nero Wolfes.
I could be assigned to almost any subject, and I was expected to get up to speed, fast. The critics I worked with knew a lot about a lot. Those critics shaped me, and I think they shaped the sensibilities of Connecticut at that moment too.
Today we'll explore the necessity (or not) of critics across all disciplines in American culture. You can join the conversation. Are critics overrated? Do arts and culture lose something in their absence? Leave you comments below, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet us @wnprcoln.