Airing out

"[Criticism] neither saves the things we love (as we would wish them saved) nor ruins the things we hate. Edinburgh Review could not destroy John Keats, nor Diderot Boucher, nor Ruskin Whistler; and I like that about it. It's a loser's game, and everybody knows it. Even ordinary citizens, when they discover you're a critic, respond as they would to a mortuary cosmetician -- vaguely repelled by what you do yet infinitely curious as to how you came to be doing it. So when asked, I always confess that I am an art critic today because, as a very young person, I set out to become a writer -- and did so with a profoundly defective idea of what writing does and what it entails."
-- from "Air Guitar" by Dave Hickey.
Mr. Hickey's recent appearance in the pages of Harper's inspired me to re-read several favorite essays in Air Guitar. This is the first in what will probably be a series of quotations from those essays.

November 9, 2006 12:54 AM |



Best of the Vault


Pat Barker, Frankenstein, Cass Sunstein on the internet, Samuel Johnson, Thrillers, Denis Johnson, Alan Furst, Caryl Phillips, Richard Flanagan, George Saunders, Michael Harvey, Larry McMurtry, Harry Potter and more ...


Big D between the sheets -- Dallas in fiction


Reviewing the state of reviewing


9/11 as a novel: Why?


How can critics say the things they do? And why does anyone pay attention? It's the issue of authority.

The disappearing book pages:  

Papers are cutting book coverage for little reason

Thrillers and Lists:  

Noir favorites, who makes the cut and why



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This page contains a single entry by book/daddy published on November 9, 2006 12:54 AM.

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The unexamined life is the next entry in this blog.

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