Re: On Literary Criticism – Jacob Silverman discusses the »problem with liking«; Gary Shteyngart heaps »promiscuous praise«

Related to my earlier posting about Dwight Garner’s case for hurting writers‘ feelings, I enjoyed reading Jacob Silverman complaint about how nice everyone is online:

if you spend time in the literary Twitter- or blogospheres, you’ll be positively besieged by amiability, by a relentless enthusiasm that might have you believing that all new books are wonderful and that every writer is every other writer’s biggest fan.

And why does this upset you, Mr Silverman?

It’s not only shallow, it’s untrue, and it’s having a chilling effect on literary culture, creating an environment where writers are vaunted for their personal biographies or their online followings rather than for their work on the page. […] The problem with Liking is that it’s a critical dead-end, a conversation nonstarter. It’s opinion without evidence—or, really, posture without opinion.

I wonder what Gary Shteyngart (a contributing writer to my new favorite blog The Collected Blurbs of Gary Shteyngart) has to say about this …

[Thanks to Uwe Wittstock]

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