Book Blog – Likely Stories, from Booklist Online » Blog Archive » This Is Only Partially True at Booklist
Booklist Online

Booklist Online: More than 130,000 book reviews for librarians, book groups, and book lovers - from the trusted experts at the American Library Association

| | | | | | | | | | |
Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

Likely Stories

A Booklist Blog
Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

« »

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 3:11 pm
This Is Only Partially True at Booklist
Posted by: Keir Graff

In the Guardian’s theblogbooks, Molly Flatt has some interesting thoughts on how hard it is to “praise interestingly”–and why reviewers seem more likely to go for the funny put-down than balanced praise (“Criticism’s vocabulary of cruelty“):

Despite our native savagery, surely there is nothing quite so pleasing as a balanced, sensitive and generous review that manages to capture the spirit of a beloved book? Maybe the problem is that the texts that really touch us engage our emotions and our passions, so that in describing them we must also reveal something of ourselves, whereas a clever slating distances us through self-consciously crafted irony and wit. And the language of praise is more difficult to wield; bile flows more easily than the milk of kindness. Admiring adjectives often seem too gushing, too pretentious or too fey; difficult to deploy without sounding like an Amazon spammer or a school book report. The vocabulary of cruelty is, on the other hand, deliciously diverse.

One editor will only publish words he’s willing to say to an author’s face–a rule that, if widely adopted, would have an astonishing effect on discourse on the increasingly fractious, increasingly faceless World Wide Web.

Comments

comments


Leave a Reply



© 2014 Booklist Online. Powered by WordPress.
Quoted material should be attributed to:
Keir Graff, Likely Stories (Booklist Online).




HOME | | AWARDS | GREAT READS | BLOGS | NEWSLETTERS | WEBINARS | MY ALERTS | MY LISTS | MY PROFILE | HELP | SUBSCRIBE
BOOKLIST PUBLICATIONS
American Library Association