The question is, do such reviews serve the community of working poets, which is primarily invested in, well, how not to become bored by poetry? Which is primarily interested in finding new and exciting work to fuel its own creative energies? Which is excited—not chagrined—to read a wide range of reviews looking at a vast array of poetries now extant in America, rather than reading conflicting scholarly accounts of the same small number of authors time after time? I really don't think negative reviewing serves that community or those interests. I think the "negative review" largely serves a series of reading interests which no longer exist.
Sunday, 5 August 2012
"Going Negative" Going the Distance
Years after it was published—and caused an uproar—Jason Guriel's defense of negative criticism is still getting mentions. There's one here, and another here. Seth Abramson uses Guriel's piece as a jumping-off point for a thoughtful, if skeptical look at negative reviews: