A Little More on Criticism
In thinking about this ongoing conversation about what good criticism should be, I must say, I don’t want good criticism to be any one thing. I don’t want criticism to be true. I don’t want it to be neatly defined.
There’s this “letter,” of course, that kind of exemplifies the folly of defining true criticism.
What recent discussions reveal is that criticism is changing. It is becoming more flexible, and more diverse in style and tone. I certainly find it far more interesting.
I think about this review by Anna Holmes. When I read it I thought, I love that a review like this exists. Or the anonymous reviews at HTMLGIANT which at first consternated me but the more I think about them, the more I like that the idea is out there in the world. Or the longform review essays across various publications, where people interweave criticism and personal essaying (my wheelhouse, I’d say). I love that there’s room for all of this alongside the more traditional brands of criticism.
I don’t know that it’s ever been a more exciting time for books and people who care enough about them to share their opinions.