Critics: justify your existence!

A few quotes for you:

… an opinion is implicit in the concept of a review. Definitely.

I think that is the whole point of the review – it’s “in my opinion”. I think that’s also why it’s important to have a relationship with the people who read the paper, so they understand what presses your buttons and what leaves you cold.

I think a good critic attempts to meet a work of art on its own terms and judge whether it has succeeded or failed in that sense.

… it’s actually quite nice to occasionally turn people on to good stuff and play a small role in the industry of human happiness (and also, dissuade them from wasting their time and money on bad stuff).

I think you may be a bit too hung up on fuzzy and borderline useless notions of “good” and “bad” – a reviewer’s job is also to think about more definable ideas as consistency, originality, artistic boldness…

Soundbite snippets from the SFF Masterclass lunches? The Vector editorial team near to closing time? A Strange Horizons comments thread?

None of the above – Guardian music critics justifying their work in response to questions by endearingly obscure glitch-techno-breaks musician Squarepusher.

Amazing how similar the arguments are, though, don’t you think?

2 thoughts on “Critics: justify your existence!”

  1. There should be a list of 10 famous sci-fi books, 20 if you include fantasy. Each critic should evaluate those books and explain what they like or dislike about them so readers can figure out which critics have tastes that match their own.

Leave a Reply