Tyler Cowen

Some performers manipulate the style of their product to shift the incentives of critics to pay attention. Richard Posner cites Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, and Kafka as figures who owe part of their reputation to the enigmatic and perhaps even contradictory nature of their writings. Unclear authors, at least if they have substance and depth, receive more attention from critics and require more textual exegesis. Individual critics can establish their own reputations by studying such a writer and by promoting one interpretation of that writer’s work over another These same critics will support the inclusion of the writer in the canon, to promote the importance of their own criticism. In effect, deep and ambiguous writers are offering critics implicit invitations to serve as co-authors of a broader piece of work.

Tyler Cowen, What Price Fame?, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2000, pp. 34-35