This essay focuses on the way James Wolcott might remind us what a critic can do to make a difference in the world by responding to artworks directly and emotionally. Wolcott started to fight the academics right from the beginning and still does so occasionally. The war between academics and critics that Wolcott engaged in at the outset of his career was not necessary but was a way for him to pursue his own idea of how critics should do their job and what is most important about this job. We have suffered for some three decades or more the waning of criticism in the academic world. Wolcott might help us find a way out of what Edward Said called “the theoretical trap” in the future.

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