Jeez, I tell ya, between my books by Pauline Kael and my books by Jonathan Rosenbaum, and a few others, I feel like I can come up with a quote or passage for every occasion. I think the following paragraphs express - if slightly modified - my POV on the matter:
From Rosenbaum's review of Pulp Fiction (quoted in fragments, not in its entirety):
"In Vamps & tramps, Camille Paglia's latest collection of sound bites and press clilps, one finds an extended account of her long-term obsession with Susan Sontag, including the following nugget: 'She is literally being passed by a younger rival, and she's not handling it, I'm afraid, very gracefully...I am the Susan Sontag of the 90s, there's no doubt of it.'
"Her statements recall Wynton Marsalis's compulsive self-positioning as Miles Davis's rival/replacement - especially in the 80s, when Davis was still alive - as well as the repeated assertions reviewers have made over the past several weeks that Quentin Tarantino is Jean-Luc Godard's successor. All three comparisons belittle the talent, intelligence, and historical roles of Sontag, Davis, and Godard, but it's become increasingly apparent in our postmodern age that the logic of such comparisons has little to do with the original artists' accomplishments. They're about something else - an assertion of market value in a market defined by preexisting molds.
[Jaime C.: It's not relevant to the current subject, but I think any attack on Tarantino that's founded on what the reviewers have said is built on sand. Just a thought.]
"When Sontag wrote Against Interpretation, Davis recorded Kind of Blue, and Godard made Breathless, in the late 50s and early 60s, thereby expanding the possibilities of criticism, jazz, and movies, none of them was the successor to anyone else; for better and for worse, they were creating new molds, not filling old ones. Sontag made popular art, movies in particular, a suitable subject in serious discussions of art, literature, and philosophy, while Godard, apart from popularizing jump cuts, introduced those discussions into movies; Davis introduced scales or modes as a basis for improvisation, which eventually made other kinds of jazz possible, such as certain long works by John Coltrane. Their would-be successors, however, are generally heralded not for their innovations but for their cleverness in recycling old works and attitudes, revitalizing their market value. With the present economic setup, which also defines our cultural setup, Godard himself couldn't qualify as 'the new Godard,' even though he continues to be an innovator, because 'the new Godard' mainly means the old Godard three decades later."