Art: Woolf on Fry

"If you said to him, 'This must be right, all the experts say so, Hitler says so, Marx says so, Christ says so, The Times says so,' he would reply in effect, 'Well, I wonder. Let's see.'... You would come away realizing that an opinion may be influentially backed and yet be tripe."

Thus E. M. Forster, a British novelist who wrote one great book (A Passage to India), speared with surgical neatness the essential quality of any great critic. His words were an obituary on his friend Roger Fry, an art critic who died in 1934.

Last fortnight another friend, Novelist Virginia...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!