Classical texts come to us bearing the thoughts of generations of readers. These are sometimes illuminating, sometimes obscure, sometimes misguided, but nearly always worth considering. Hesiod's Works and Days, for example, was fertile ground for Plato and Vergil, but also for Byzantine numerologists, Reformation pedagogues, and contemporary sociologists. My own reading strives to keep a double focus on ancient texts and on the history of their interpretation.
Beyond classical antiquity, I am interested in the broader history of criticism. I recently edited a volume of the aesthetic theory of the Victorian critic Vernon Lee (Violet Paget), who combined fine-grained formal analysis with acute attention to the embodied experience of viewing art.