Clement Greenberg

To the Editors:

Clement Greenberg once observed that critics of his writing tended to read more into themselves than into his articles. Hilton Kramer's rebuttal of my introduction to volumes 3 and 4 of Clement Greenberg: The Collected Essays and Criticism, “Clement Greenberg and the Cold War” (March 1993), seems to entail a similar kind of inverted reading. Mr. Kramer accuses me of reducing “every aesthetic idea, if not aesthetics itself, to a suspect political datum” and of adopting a “belligerent voice” in my analysis of Greenberg's shifting critical position in the 1950s and 1960s.

I do not deny that politics play a role in my deliberations about art. But I wonder if politics do not excite more interest on Mr. Kramer's part than on mine. I invite readers to examine my introduction and to compare it with Mr. Kramer's review. In which piece is the...

 
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