Archaeology of Criticism



"A man's life work, despite his conscious intentions, reinforces values of certain sorts and ignore others, and operates within one set of cultural myths and ignores others." [Michael Novak, The Experience of Nothingness 43 (New York: Harper Colophon, 1971)]

"[E]very occupation or profession develops and takes specific stands to the world as a result of its craft." [Joseph Bensman & Robert Lilienfeld, Craft and Consciousness: Occupation, Technique and the Development of World Images 336 (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1973)]

"[I]n the course of any specialized education or training, we acquire not only specific mental skills and a discipline, but a way of life. These ways of life are, at least in part, the management of impulse writ large: projections onto the screen of public life of processes that we each endure more privately. The conventions that bound these ways of life--like the images of the arts and sciences--are part of the 'deep' or hidden structure of what our education transmits. The life we lead is one that centers, to a considerable extent, around the observance or transgression of these bounding conventions." [Liam Hudson, Human Beings: The Psychology of Human Experience 140-141 (Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1975)]

"[C]reative people take an especially serious attitude towards their work and tend more than others to conceive of this work in value-laden terms: to project moral consequence into actions that other people would see from a merely technical or economic perspective." [Robert Grudin, The Grace of Great Things: Creativity and Innovation 69-70 (New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1990)]

"Perhaps it would be just in a daily lifelong attitude of 'seeing' that the noisy, chaotic activity I call my job could become a support for my attention instead of a distraction. Perhaps, if I attend to the reality that is in front of me moment by moment--phone, machine, pencil, boss, coffee--constantly failing, accepting to fail and to begin again--this perfectly ordinary work I do might become extraordinary work, might even become my craft." [Jean Kinkead Martine, "Working for a Living," in D. M. Dooling (ed.), A Way of Working 59-65, 64-65 (Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1979)]

"Socrates . . . appears to have felt a very close affinity with craftsmen, in whom he discerned competence and steadfastness, and perhaps a minimum of pretentiousness." [Henry G. Bugbee, Jr., The Inward Morning: A Philosophical Exploration in Journal Form 63 (New York: Harper Colophon, 1976)]


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