This was fun to read. I admit I have scant knowledge of literary theory, though I have read some Jameson, and the reference here gives us much to think about regarding Proust and other French novels (our sometime collaborator Dirk will no doubt be interested), and the "negative criticism" of "neuro novels" is devastatingly amusing. What I found most stimulating of my own creative impulses (which could no doubt be alternatively explained in the language of neuro novels) was her interpretation of Freud's interpretation of dreams, as applied to fiction.
Why Criticism Matters - Essay by Elif Batuman - NYTimes.com
Yes, I suppose that criticism does matter, though not so much as the creation of the dreams.