I like Larkin and Hill, so God knows where that puts me. But I think that D. H. Lawrence got to the key point of literature when he said, “Never trust the teller, trust the tale. The proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.” Writers can rattle on all they want about theories and tradition and the like. I doubt if any of it ever has much bearing on what they're writing when they're writing. And mean-spirited sniping is unbecoming, however entertaining it may be to the rest of us. I love Brahms and Tchaikovsky, who detested each other's music. So what?