The book blogger versus traditional literary critic debate has been rumbling on for a while now, especially as it is noticeable that endorsements from bloggers are increasingly used alongside reviews by established journalists. However, I was recently surprised to find a quote from my review of Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien inside the UK paperback edition published by Granta. I hadn’t known my review was going to be used for this purpose (but I don’t object to it) and I also didn’t receive a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my comments. Continue reading
According to Peter Stothard, this year’s chair of the Man Booker Prize judges, book bloggers are harming literature. Well thanks, Peter. Thanks a lot. I’m sure there are many people who have come across my blog who might have been indifferent or in strong disagreement with my reviews but I never expected the whole concept of my blog to be accused of being detrimental to literature. That seems quite extreme to me.
I am not a professional critic. I enjoy reading books and nobody pays me to write reviews. I did not study English Literature at university. I do not work in publishing or journalism. As a blogger, I don’t have an editor to check my posts and I know my writing isn’t perfect. However, I completely reject Stothard’s assertion that blogging is drowning out ‘serious criticism’. He appears to have lumped all bloggers into the category of what he calls ‘unargued opinion’. Sure, there is an awful lot of badly written stuff out there, but it isn’t universal. Continue reading