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In Praise of the Critic

June 04, 1988

Regarding one Greg Dollinger's pathetic note taking offense at the intelligent letter of Chris Mankiewicz (Saturday Letters, May 29), wherein Mankiewicz expressed his appreciation of the performing arts, in general, and of our most literate, perceptive, witty, fair musicologist, our music/dance critic, Martin Bernheimer, and his "never ending battle to maintain critical standards in this city" (Saturday Letters, May 21):

Unfortunately, Dollinger's reference to Bernheimer's "nit-picking" advertises his ignorance of the intent of the critic.

Truly intelligent people like to learn about a subject, rather than take offense, if it appears to him to be negative. The vitriolic letters written about Bernheimer's critiques prove the statement made by the great humorist, Ogden Nash, "The masses is asses."

I would suggest to Dollinger that he stick to the benign, dull reviews of those "critics" to whom just about everything about the performance was "wonderful," every performer was "fantastic," and "a standing ovation" followed.

We who are able to discriminate as to the degree of talent in case, know that audiences will applaud at just about anything , good, bad, or innocuous.

My chapeau goes off to Mankiewicz, who appreciates and understands the diligent work performed by our Martin Bernheimer.



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