Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Experienced Critic Says Literary Blogs Are “A Function of Youth”

Hilary Spurling, literary critic for The Observer since 2006, speaks from the perspective of 44 years as a literary critic:

If I were young now I’d not only be reading blogs but writing them. However, I think that voracious appetite for keeping up, for being in the swim, is a function of youth. It’s one of the pleasures of old age that you know so much more. At the most basic level, critics are involved in garbage clearance, which is an underrated pursuit because if we don’t remove the garbage it can choke us or become toxic. The best of criticism is when you find some amazing new growth, and then convey the pleasure you have taken in it. Is there an exclusive literary feast going on in London? I had the same feeling about literary London when I was starting out and decided that the way to deal with it was to come to London and join in. But now thanks to blogging you can make your case from wherever you are. Is criticism being challenged? It will simply take another form, and I don’t see anything wrong in that. It’s essential that things don’t become atrophied.

No comments: