Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Speaking for those you disdain ...

... Critics' choice? (Hat tip, Ed Champion.)

As a Literary Novelist, Franzen is "painfully conscious," and so must bear the burden of those who are not. The insights he shares won't alienate the "beleaguered" modern reader — Grossman assures us we'll enjoy Freedom because it's not too difficult to read.


  1. Near the end, we have this critique of "an embattled critic class who're busy foisting something from which they've sucked all the joy onto a public they don't seem to respect."

    This hints at the heart of the problem: too many critics as egoists are not really interested in the books about which they are writing but instead are more interested in their own words.

  2. That's the whole problem in a nutshell, R/T. The whole culture of "celebrity critic" is a symptom of this. I prefer reviewers to critics, as a result. They tell you what they like, and don't like, and don't try to turn things into a Grand Theory. One wonders if the problem isn't also connected to the fall of the independent (journalist/reader) critic and the rise of the academic-based (theory-based) critic.