Midnight Voices
THE PETE ATKIN WEB FORUM    RSS
Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
This page loaded: 17.12.17 at 12:03 UK
PA
HOME
Pete Atkin home page
MV Home | Short | Help | Search | Members | Login | Register | Shop | PA Home
Midnight Voices « Clive's book reviewing. »
   Midnight Voices
   Pete Atkin
   Words
(Moderator: Mike Walters)
   Clive's book reviewing.
« Previous thread | Next thread »
Pages: 1   Start of Thread | Latest Post Reply | Notify of replies | Send Thread | Print
   Author  Thread: Clive's book reviewing.  (Read 1483 times)
Kevin Cryan
MV Fellow
*****


I love Midnight Voices!

   

Posts: 1112
Clive's book reviewing.
« : 06.12.07 at 09:05 »
Quote

James Wolcott, writing a lengthy review of a book called Faint Praise: The Plight of the Book Review in America by editor, critic and columnist Gail Pool for The New Republic, finds that while he agrees with many things that Pool has to say in her book, he is by no means convinced that the art book reviewing is in as poor a shape as the rather overly-earnest Pool seems to think it is.  
 
"Where is the swashbuckling fun, the exploding scoreboard, the whisking pirouettes? So focused is “Faint Praise” on institutional woes, incremental change, and improvements in quality control that it scants the virtuoso individuality that makes book reviewing a more interesting activity than, say, raking leaves. Pool appears squeamish about too much personality being injected into the reviewing format, fearing a sloppy overdose of subjectivity and exhibitionism. But if critical deportment means pouring each phrase into a measuring cup, we might as well turn in our magic kits. You wouldn’t divine from this landscape survey of the literary flatlands the thunder and illumination of which book reviews are capable when the right reviewer and the right book meet head-on. Book reviews at full billow can become cultural events: acts of exaltation (Mary McCarthy on “Pale Fire”), social advocacy (Dwight Macdonald on Michael Harrington’s “The Other America”), reassessment (Brigid Brophy on Franoise Sagan), wrecking-ball demolitions (Macdonald on James Gould Cozzens’s “By Love Possessed,” Sheed on Norman Podhoretz’s “Making It,” Whittaker Chambers on Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” Alfred Chester on John Rechy’s “City of Night,” Pauline Kael on Mailer’s “Marilyn,” Dale Peck’s Sweeney Todd exploits in these pages), reconstructive character surgery (Clive James on Zachary Leader’s biography of Kingsley Amis in the Times Literary Supplement), and literary resurrection (Gore Vidal on Dawn Powell). Why not reach for the stars? Imagine how much livelier criticism would be if novice reviewers - instead of dreaming of the day when they, too, might meet Malcolm Gladwell and his hair - availed themselves of review collections by Sheed, Brophy, McCarthy, Kingsley Amis, Martin Amis, Marvin Mudrick, Seymour Krim, H.L. Mencken, Anatole Broyard, and Philip Larkin and entertained those voices in their heads. What a tutorial that would be. Anyway, it beats moping."[link]
 
Kevin Cryan
« Last Edit: 06.12.07 at 09:15 by Kevin Cryan » IP logged
Pages: 1    Start of Thread | Latest Post Reply | Notify of replies | Send Thread | Print
Return to Top « Previous thread | Next thread »
MV Home | Short | Help | Search | Members | Login | Register | Shop | PA Home
Midnight Voices is not responsible for comments made by its members. All opinions expressed are entirely those of their authors.
Midnight Voices » Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.3.1!
YaBB © 2000-2003. All Rights Reserved.