I think I learned quite early that the judgments of my teachers were probably a report of their ignorance. In truth, my education was a systematic misleading. Ruskin was dismissed as a dull, preacherly old fart who wrote purple prose. In a decent society the teacher who led me to believe this would be tried, found guilty, and hanged by the thumbs while being pelted with old eggs and cabbage stalks
Guy Davenport’s essay “On Reading” in The Hunter Gracchus and Other Papers on Literature and Art (Washington: Counterpoint, 1997), pp. 19-31.