Great (British) literary critics are like heavyweight boxing champions. No one bothers to know their names any more. Lit-crit used to be big time; Henry Cooper big. No longer. Our very greatest living GBLC is Frank Kermode, now in his ninth decade. Sir Frank (like ‘Enery in his field of combat) was ennobled for services to literary criticism. Something makes him a rather lone figure among the sovereign’s doughty band of knights.
Looking back over the field he has dominated for half a century, Kermode’s words are unminced. Universities, he says, “are being driven by madmen”. And education in general “is being run by lunatics”.