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 […]
By Bill Marx Book reviewing is at a crossroads. Major newspapers and magazines are cutting column inches devoted to the evaluation of books, while blogs and book review sites online raise issues of ethical standards and quality control. Where should those who believe in the survival of book criticism expend their time and energy? Can […]
By Bill Marx Criticism of the fine arts is dying in regional newspapers, but don’t waste too much time mourning the loss. Arts blogger and Wall Street Journal theater critic Terry Teachout’s recent article on how arts criticism is vanishing in regional newspapers hits the nail on the head, though he is either too considerate […]
By Bill Marx A major Italian novelist with a worldwide reputation, Alberto Moravia, would have been 100 this year, but even in his homeland the parties are halfhearted. We should be breaking out the champagne and discovering this still subversive realist. The excellent Literary Saloon recently sent me to an article in Il velino that […]
Al Alvarez’s new book of essays provides an opportunity to also strongly recommend his first collection of literary commentary and reviews, 1969’s Beyond All This Fiddle, one of the most invigorating collections of cultural commentary from that period.
By Bill Marx Fiction in translation deserves all the notice it can get, but it doesn’t do anyone any good to patronize writers and readers by duplicating the happy talk that is turning people off of blurb-ridden book reviews in the mainstream media. My friend Chad Post, formerly at Dalkey Archive Press, has begun a […]
By Bill Marx In his critically acclaimed novels and stories, Japanese writer Haruki Murakami sings of the subterranean connections between software and the supernatural. After Dark (Knopf, 191 pp, $22.95) Haruki Murakami is a hip cultural diagnostician who would like to be viewed as a melancholic poet of the postmodern condition, a writer who has […]
The Pogues are back and they’re ready to rock. By Ira Kantor BOSTON, Mass.– For the iconoclastic (and newly reunited) band The Pogues, the moment of truth has arrived. It’s 8:30 p.m. and Boston’s aged Orpheum Theatre has just gone dark. Cheers and applause rattle the walls. Is the worst going to happen or will […]