I would be very glad if I could transfer to even one reader my conviction that adverse criticism, far from being the easiest, is one of the hardest things in the world to do well. (...)
Dr. I.A. Richards first seriously raised the problem of badness in literature. And his singularly honest wrestling with it shows how dark a problem it is. For when we try to define the badness of a work, we usually end by calling it bad on the strength of characteristics which we can find also in good work. Dr. Richards began by hoping he had found the secret of badness in an appeal to stock responses.But Gray's Elegy beat him. Here was a good poem which made that appeal throughout. Worse still, its particular goodness depended on doing so. This happens again and again. The novel before you is bad - a transparent compensatory fantasy projected by a poor, plain woman, erotically starving. Yes, but so is Jane Eyre. Another bad book is amorphous; but so is Tristram Shandy. An authour betrays shocking indifference to all the great political, social, and intellectual upheavals of his age; like Jane Austen.
C.S. Lewis, Studies in Words, 9 (Cambridge, 1960)
Кстати, очень интересная книжка: история нескольких слов (или, скорее, понятий) в европейской культуре. Phusis-natura-kind-nature, Ingenium-wit, eleutherios-liberal-frank-free и т.д. Как менялся от века к веку менялось значение слова и объем понятия - нечто вроде лоции для филологов, переводчиков и читателей.