Monday, June 25, 2012

The Short History of Book Reviewing's Slow Decline

The Awl puts a nail in the coffin of book reviewing.

From the piece...

"Who Killed the Literary Critic?" was the subject of a 2008 Salon conversation between critics Laura Miller and Louis Bayard. The trigger for the discussion: a book called The Death of the Critic which hypothesized that the lack of both public intellectuals and a rigorous academic community of inquiry had caused criticism to founder. Miller considered how the increase of “too many other entertainment options” takes away from reading time. Against this, both Miller and Bayard discuss the “fuck you” aspect of modernism's output as a factor that might drive readers to kindlier, more benevolent texts—novels and television shows that don’t wish to frighten audiences with their aggressive difficulty. “There are no critical movements evident today,” observed Miller. (And even if there were, they’re not all going to be online, or in one forum. Any real critical movement simply should not be confined to one community or some new means of communication.) Perhaps a large problem in the decline of good criticism is that readers no longer know how, or where, to find critics, and, more importantly, how to define what makes it Good.

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