Posts Tagged: critics

Sontag Syndrome

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Over at Hazlitt, Alana Massey walks us through the anxiety that so often accompanies reading great thinkers, laying bare her own insecurities at the altar of famed writer and critic, Susan Sontag. When she finally does sit down to read the writer she had so carefully side-stepped, her worst fears are confirmed, and she is […]

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Why Commercial Success Gets Criticized As Sentimental

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Perhaps it is because there are so few proven paths to success, and so little success to go around, that when an acclaimed novelist actually succeeds on a large scale, highbrow critics can become vicious. While the novels praised as “literary” by the critics rarely fly off bookstore shelves to become commercial successes, novels that […]

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Women Don’t Read Real Books

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Call it “Goldfinching,” after Vanity Fair’s 2014 yes-but-is-it-art interrogation as to whether Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer prize-winning, mega-bestselling book The Goldfinch is or is not literature. It’s the process by which a popular and previously well-regarded novel and, more importantly, its readers, are taken to the woodshed, usually by a critic who won’t hesitate to congratulate […]

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Critics vs. Readers

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Critics don’t seem to like Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, but that hasn’t stopped readers from buying more than a million copies of the novel. Vanity Fair poses the question: but is it art? The New Republic suggests this kind of criticism is infantile. Meanwhile, Flavorwire’s Jason Diamond thinks a bigger problem is the disconnect between critics and readers: […]

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Have Critics Lost Their Authority?

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In an essay written for Pacific Standard, psychologist Adam Waytz meditates on the dramatic influence the Internet has had on the role of cultural criticism. Arguing that the Internet (with its “leaking” and torrenting and general filesharing debauchery) has effectively dissolved the advantage critics previously had over the public—the ability to access the subjects of […]

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Publishing Vocab

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Editors, publishers and critics have their own industry-specific lexicon. People in the industry are used to hearing words like “acclaimed” or saying that a book “brilliantly defies categorization,” but apparently this is only the surface level of description. Beyond the commonly used adjectives and phrases, there lies the truth—what they actually mean, decoded.

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