This is a speech given by Valery, but I have encountered a few questions. First, what does the word "task" in the first sentence mean? Second, what does the sentence below in bold mean? Does it mean that everything he does is just normal, as everyone else does the same thing?
More than one critic has taken him to task rather harshly, and naively, for being so knowledgeable and for not being unaware of what he knew. What was he sup posed to do? What did he do that had not always been done? Nothing is newer than the standard of absolute newness imposed as an obligation on writers