Maybe they should put up a statue to a critic!

April 12, 2007 at 3:09 pm (Eloquence)

Jean Sibelius is supposed to have comforted a young composer by saying, “No one ever put up a statue to a critic!” It is still a commonplace to deride the efforts of reviewers (especially if you yourself have been badly reviewed!). But I have found of late some exceptionally fine writing in reviews and critiques. Here is an example, from Elizabeth Judd’s review of Anne Tyler’s DIGGING TO AMERICA:

” Tyler, who was raised among various Quaker communities and who turned eleven before she first used a telephone, understands the powerful magic of self-imposed isolation.” (This review appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, a magazine with an outstanding book review section.)

BTW, DIGGING TO AMERICA is a terrific novel; if you haven’t yet read it, please drop everything and do so immediately!

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