Punctuated equilibria

Once, perhaps, in a generation, a truce is called between artist and critic. This is when an over-riding genius lands, as it were, by parachute on the very tip of Parnassus, making the land quake, shivering our yardsticks to splinters, and dislodging everyone, authors and reviewers alike, from their several footholds. Standards then rise abruptly on all sides, as they rose seventy years ago when Ibsen thundered down on us and showed us what we had all been driving at. At such times feuding ceases, and everybody gets down to work.

Kenneth Tynan