Teaching to read

That was apparently Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve's ambition - but he was not a teacher. Here is a rather enlightening article about this important French author & poet who would celebrate his 200th birthday today, too.

My takeaway: The critic's approach to a text, which in my view is by no means limited to literary criticism. The source quoted is Manzoni's Three-Questions Test:
«Quale sia l'intento del autore,
Se questo intento sia ragionevole,
Se l'autore l'abbia conseguito.»

What is the author's intention, is the intention reasonable and, finally, has the intention been achieved. The middle step of passing judgment on the author's intention will probably be met with scorn in today's age of anything goes, but it is nonetheless probably the critic's most valuable contribution to the actual criticism.

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