I've been reading Terry Eagleton's How to Read Literature along with the students of the class I am co-teaching for the English department. (Because I don't have time to read the whole thing in one go.) I'm kind of glad that students can't see me reading Eagleton. I'd be setting a bad example. At one point in the second chapter of How to Read Literature, on character, I called the author a berk in my margin notes. (The man does not understand Othello at all.) I called him all sorts of names out loud—not in class.
Sue Bridehead, Jane Eyre, Clarissa, and others. But I only agreed with a few of his arguments. And my marginalia shows it.
For me, reading critics is not a relaxing experience. I end up yelling things at the page or writing insults in the margins. I'd try to publish papers about my opinions, but you can't get through peer-review if you call your opponents morons in so many words. (Although you can still get published when you swear at the journal publishers, apparently.)
I do hope that by arguing against Eagleton (in family-friendly language) during class every now and then, I can encourage the students to question the experts as they do their research. They need to learn that, if they can build a strong argument, they can contradict critics no matter how many letters they have after their names.
This feels like a disjointed post, but it was cathartic for me. I feel better now.