14 May 2006

A law for reviewers

Perhaps, we should name this Our Bilious Blog. There's more bile, alas. Is it too much to expect fewer clichés and more intelligence from assessors? In the spirit of John Gregory Dunne’s proscriptions, we propose that reviews that praise a book in terms alluding to aspects of the writer’s culture be outlawed. No more “as complex and nuanced as a qorma” referring to an Indian writer’s work or paeans to the “sights and smells of the bazaar” for an Egyptian quartet. What’s the point of reading of a text if it can be reduced to something that’s so stereotypical and that’s so easily reproducible and numbingly familiar? It behooves a critic to try to be as original as the writer.

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