Haigh against the critics

Gideon Haigh has released another salvo in his campaign against Australia’s critical culture on Killings (the blog of journal Kill Your Darlings).

In part Haigh’s response to Rosemary Neill’s piece in the Australian Critical Mass. Haigh objects to the snobbery of ignoring online critics, saying “Despite being set explicitly in ‘the age of the bloggers’, Rosemary managed not to mention a single blog by name. Could this, perchance, be another dodging?”

But overall Haigh is asking for a return to a more considered reading culture rather than a thumbs-up simplicity of scores which he likens to “consumer guides, who condense everything to a ratings system rather like a Choice survey of vacuum cleaners”. Haigh prefers reviews that are a conversation around a book and its ideas. “A thoughtful review permits disagreement; a number seems to brook no argument.”

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