Oct 072008
 

I was listening to an interview with a novelist/critic on Fresh Air over lunch and Terry naturally asked the person what it was like, as someone who gets reviewed to rip apart another author’s work. Her reply was that unless the book spouts some truly noxious ideology she only writes reviews for books she enjoys. Her logic for this was authors put so much hard work into their novels, an somebody is bound to enjoy it even if she doesn’t.

This struck me as incredibly lazy thinking. Just because a writer spends a long time writing a book doesn’t mean the book is good. Similarly just because a book is popular doesn’t mean a book is good. The purpose of literary criticism is to help guide people in their literary purchases. If people only review books they like then that bankrupts the entire endeavour. It’s subjecyivr reasoning like this, there are no bad ideas, that gave us eight years of the Bush Presidency. So to the author whose name I’ve already forgotten, suit up, do your job, and criticize.

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