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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday Book Discussion: Book Reviews Spiced with Snark, and the Cult of Nice

How to read 'Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone'? Why, very quickly, to begin with, and perhaps also to make an end. Why read it? Presumably, if you cannot be persuaded to read anything better, Rowling will have to do. — Harold Bloom on J.K. Rowling If you call a book a piece of trash on the Internet, you're not expressing an opinion, you're being a jerk. Someone wrote that book, and there are better ways to express yourself. — Nathan Bransford, Don't be a Jerk I am not a famous literary critic and professor of literature like Harold Bloom — and I think he's wrong about Harry Potter, and a crankypants fathead for good measure — but at least he doesn't gloss his opinions. I like Nathan Bransford, but I disagree with him, too, and I am very annoyed by the "cult of nice" that seems to be flowering in too many writers' circles. We all know about infamous author review meltdowns, from Jim Butcher to Christopher Pike to Anne Rice. Heck, most of fandom_wank is author meltdowns. Personally, I think a lot of this bubbles up from fanfiction culture (where "concrit" is often a heavily loaded and charged term) as more and more fanfic authors grow up to be book readers and occasionally professional authors. see more