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The Challenge of Reviewing


Anne at Fernham has written a brilliant article on the challenges of reviewing books and literary criticism. A highly recommended commentary – and food for thought as I continue to develop my skills as a reviewer.

So, I think about Keats and try not to write a thumbs-down review that would kill a young genius. And, I think about Lockhart and try to remember not to judge literature by my own prejudices but, instead, to judge it on its own terms. For me, that means following the lesson of Woolf, who always tried to discern a book’s own goals for itself. What is it trying to do? Does it do it?


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One Comment to

“The Challenge of Reviewing”

  1. On August 23rd, 2006 at 4:13 pm Carl V. Says:

    Although I personally don’t ever want to develop the kind of critical eye that would mean I can’t enjoy some of the fluff books that I enjoy I do think its important to be able to write an honest review. To do that I truly think these words are important “What is it trying to do? Does it do it?” That is a great way to look at books rather than judging them against the ‘best’ of classic literature, etc.

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