book/daddy: December 2008 Archives

newspapers.jpgIn the Dallas and Fort Worth daily newspapers, there will no longer be separate reviews of many cultural organizations and events. The two city papers, the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, have begun running the same review by the same writer. It's the latest development in what has been a series of cutbacks affecting area arts reporting and reviewing. With newspapers across the country facing serious financial problems, maintaining an individual, local critic's voice in print is no longer a priority, even when the art under review is locally based.

A month ago, the Morning News and the Star-Telegram announced that the two newspapers may collaborate in unspecified ways -- beyond the joint distribution agreement the companies had already arranged. Frontburner, the D Magazine blog, ran a memo by DMN editor Bob Mong that said those unspecified ways would include "a few targeted areas of newsgathering."

It became clear this past weekend what this will entail for North Texas arts: The two papers will run a single, shared review. In effect, there will be a single daily newspaper arts staff unevenly divided between the two newsrooms.

December 9, 2008 3:46 PM |
samuel_johnson.jpgAdam Gopnick has written a very fine piece in The New Yorker on two new biographies of Samuel Johnson, the one by Jeffrey Meyers, the other by Peter Martin:

"No critic has ever been wiser about the limits of criticism, and about how few rules can ever be made for writing; Johnson is the model of a reactive critic, seeing when a piece of writing was made, and how it works, then and now. His premise was always that something that had long pleased readers must have pleased them for a reason; sometimes it was because of a quality or a problem in their time that had made the work seem briefly pleasing, sometimes it was because of some permanent quality of imagination or truth. The critic's job was to distinguish between what belonged to the history of taste and what belonged to the canon of art, and to try to explain what made the permanently pleasing permanently please. For Johnson's great question is not how to write, or what to write, but why write. His criticism provides a simple answer: to help us enjoy life more, or endure it better."

December 6, 2008 4:33 PM |


Best of the Vault


About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by book/daddy in December 2008.

book/daddy: November 2008 is the previous archive.

book/daddy: January 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.