If you’re a fan of the podcast or the magazine, you know that Arts Fuse writers are sworn adversaries of the dreaded algorithm.
Why does Laura Miller feel, given her belief that negative reviews are often useless, that she has to kick criticism while it is down? Why argue against the efforts of a small number of delusional reviewers in major publications who continue to speak fruitless negativity to the indifferent masses?
“New York Times” Book Critic Dwight Garner makes salient points about the need for incisive criticism, claiming that too much happy talk denies common sense and undercuts credibility. But the ‘gonzo’ masterwork “Fire the Bastards!” hammers the point home much more memorably.
The important question the NYTBR Editors fail to ask is whether the traditional definition and values of literary criticism will survive in an age of ebooks and iPads. Is there a primal appetite for criticism? (Edith Wharton says there is, and I believe her.) How will the Internet shape our innate desire to compare, judge, […]
By Bill Marx Sigmund Freud sets out a weirdly Brobdingnagian survival scenario for kids. Young children rely on their parents, dependent on the intimidating bounty and emotional whims of “adult” giants who could easily dish out too much smothering love or unconscious hostility. Novelist Peter Stephan Jungk weaves a playfully tragicomic variation on this primal […]
By Bill Marx In the latest World Books podcast I talk to Robert Chandler, who along with his wife Elizabeth and Olga Meerson has translated Andrey Platonov’s novel “The Foundation Pit” for New York Review Books.
ArtsFuse editor Bill Marx speaks with Gail Pool, the author of Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America, about the slow decline of literary criticism in the United States.
“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
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.
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 […]