"A number of writers who once greatly ___ the literary critic have recently recanted, substituting ___ for their former criticism.
A. lauded … censure
B. influenced … analysis
C. simulated … ambivalence
D. disparaged … approbation
E. honored … adulation"

I chose D. But someone said A would be better. I don't think so. Because I don't think there would be many writers who would like the criticism on their writings.

What do you think? Thanks!
D, for "disparaged" corresponds to "former criticism"
Yes, D.

With A, 'criticism' would have to approximate to 'lauding'.

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