Critics Cop More Flak

Judy Horacek's take on book critics

Judy Horacek's take on book critics

Two related pieces appeared in The Observer on the weekend, signalling more debate over the role of the critic. Neal Gabler, author of Walt Disney: The Biography, writes, “It is Twitter, Facebook, myDigg, Yelp and dozens of other sites where, sometimes just by sheer quantity of opinion, the people are overrunning the Winter Palace of cultural elitism.”

In a related piece, a group of artists and critics adds to the swell. Here’s Hari Kunzru, novelist: “Critics praise work that doesn’t upset them. So much looks like art but just tastes of cardboard.”

And over at the Huffington Post, critic Anis Shivani has asked major American critics the question, “"How can book reviewing be relevant to the new generation of readers?”

Regular readers of Dailies may remember our story last week on the spat between playwright David Williamson and Crikey’s theatre critic Jason Whittaker (currently the subject of our Talking Point). Indeed, attendees of Wheeler Centre events will recall our Critical Failure series on theatre, film, books and music.

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