When I returned to school after a break raising children, I was surprised to see that now a Literature major required a course on criticism, which may have been fine, but now the papers required a great deal of research and reporting on what others had written on the great books. It seemed there was a step removed from the actual work. Works of art were now critiqued from various points of view, the feminist, the Oriental, etc. I can see the advantage of that in one way, and in another, I resonate to these words of Philip Roth.
"I would be wonderful with a 100-year moratorium on literature talk, if you shut down all literature departments, close the book reviews, ban the critics. The readers should be alone with the books, and if anyone dared to say anything about them, they would be shot or imprisoned right on the spot. Yes, shot. A 100-year moratorium on insufferable literary talk. You should let people fight with the books on their own and rediscover what they are and what they are not. Anything other than this talk. Fairytale talk. As soon as you generalize, you are in a completely different universe than that of literature, and there's no bridge between the two."