[Milton-L] She Resort Ribbing

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Thu Jan 7 14:06:32 EST 2010

"Mario A. DiCesare" wrote:
> Dear Marlene,
> More than once I have been publicly rebuked, in the discussion after a
> paper, for favorably citing Empson. I am delighted to see someone as
> widely respected as John Leonard referring to him favorably -- or so it
> seems.

I don't know for the most part which 206h-c critics will still be read a
century from now, but one of them will certainly be Empson. Richard
Lewontin & Richard Levins dedicate their book, The Dialectical
Biologist_ to Frederick Engels, "Who got a lot of things wrong but who
got them right where it counted."

Something similar could be said of Empson. Moreover, he is as useful and
fascinating when he's wrong as most critics are when they are right. If
I remember correctly, he was wrong on "Brightness falls from air," but
it would be terrible not to have the pages in which that error occurs.


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