Doris Lessing has always been massively and productively incorrect, and splendidly fulfills the mandate of a great writer by being so.
The NY Times is running a series of articles about front-runners for the presidency. I’ve read the two about Hillary Clinton carefully, because I’m stuck about her. She’s someone I’d like to feel enthusiastic about but can’t. She always, to my mind, testifies strongly at first, then cancels herself out. She’s an enigma wrapped inside […]
When should a play be labeled dated and consigned to the junk heap of time? No playwright is safe from the charge of being called passé: one reviewer’s breath of fresh air from the past is another’s antiquated wheeze.
A few years ago, an adolescent boy with whom I liked to discuss books told me about a novel he had read called, The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks. The book, I found, was absorbing, a real page-turner.
The Hub Review features a perceptively waspish consideration of Pauline Kael’s unhealthy influence on film reviewers, taking scathing aim at a couple of her jittery heirs, A.O. Scott of the NYTimes and Ty Burr of the Boston Globe. I particularly like Tom Garvey’s concluding paragraph: But if the Paulettes have all repudiated their maker, where’s her baleful […]
“Criticism will always have the force of the child in the story about the emperor’s new clothes, because there will always be naked emperors who everybody says are wearing today’s Crown Jewels.” — Eric Bentley
Hot on the heels of critic Sven Birkerts’s lament last week in the Boston Globe’s Ideas section that the blogosphere threatens shared literary culture comes Globe book critic Gail Caldwell’s moan that “the scribes and priests no longer hold the keys to the holy word; the word itself has splintered into an infinite series of […]
The genuine divide is between those critics who see reviewing as an end in itself and those who see it as a means towards marketing or career boosting.
More evidence bean counters will be picking the classics of the future: two novels by Ayn Rand – the unhinged saint of unbridled capitalism – have been reissued as Penguin Modern Classics.
Bloggers are concerned about the fate of book reviews, so raising questions about the quality of book commentary online, especially asking how it can become better, is worth the effort. But any discussion about the future of reviews must be based in reality rather in wishful thinking or defensive delusion. By Bill Marx In an […]