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THE AVENUE

From a painting by Mr. Eugen Neuhaus. The editors of the Chronicle wish to make grateful acknowledgment to the artist and to the Junior Class of Mills College for the courtesy which has enabled them to offer to the readers of the Chronicle this charming reproduction.

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Taking Dr. Pepper's interesting essay on The Place of the Critic in the Chronicle for April as a point of departure, it is my intention to mark out as well as I can the more important aspects of research viewed in relation to criticism.

There is as yet, says Dr. Pepper, no science of aesthetics. It is consequently impossible to state, scientifically, the nature of beauty, or to say what qualities or characteristics make in any given case for beauty or ugliness. Of this condition there are, as Dr. Pepper puts it, two chief practical results. One is that the critic, whose business it is at the lowest to define and apply the standards of beauty, at the highest to define and illustrate the laws of beauty, finds himself in a dilemma. He must either pretend that there are laws and standards, or he must annihilate his function by confessing that though he criticize he has no more right to criticize than any other man. He must be a charlatan or nobody. In a dilemma the one safe place is between the horns. The critic may take himself in : actually he may escape being a nobody by being a self-deceived charlatan. He must be the first victim of his own quackery, imbued with faith in his own standards. Thus he escapes charlatanry. He achieves self-conceit.

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