Monday, 2 July 2012

Why Criticism Still Matters

Spin magazine has decided to kill its album reviews in favour of 140-character tweets. Johann Hari defends the role of critics:
"Many readers were bemused by Marcel Proust and James Joyce until Edmund Wilson wrote about them. When Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot opened, the audience was puzzled until Harold Hobson's famous review came out. The first audiences for Osborne's Look Back In Anger were nonplussed, until Kenneth Tynan's review appeared. Arthur Penn's 1967 film Bonnie And Clyde was regarded as a repellent flop until Kael's words alchemised it. More recently, Zadie Smith's writing about Tom McCarthy's novel Remainder alerted us to something new and mind-stretching. If they had not been there, our artistic world—our inner lives—would have been more anaemic."

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