Saturday, 30 May 2009

Wovon Man Nicht Sprechen Kann

Jason Guriel's piece in Poetry defending negative reviews prompts a long, thoughtful post by American poet Alfred Corn

"A negative review at least makes known the book’s existence. Readers may be prompted to read a book despite sharp critiques. But if they don’t know it exists, they won't look for it, won't read it, and can't arrive at any opinion about it, positive or negative. Book review editors have more influence on the fate of books than any single reviewer. Letters to the editor expressing dissatisfaction about negative assessments of books are very common. I don’t ever recall seeing a letter to an editor criticizing him or her for failing to assign a book."

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