Dr. Justin Sfariac
ITERARY criticism at the beginning of the twenty-first century seems to be in a situation of crisis. A crisis that affects not only the academe but especially the relationship between the literary critic and the general public.
There are many literary journals in most countries but they are aimed at professional readers. Those with the general public in mind are few and their readership is dwindling and, which is worse, ageing. In the United States, for instance, despite the dimensions of one of the largest book markets in the world, there is only one important periodical dedicated to literary criticism: The New York Review of Books. If current trends are preserved, sooner or later literary criticism will be confined to the academe in terms of both production and consumption and its relevance to the general public will become negligible. Needless to say, its social value will share the same fate.