Poetry News

Who's Qualified to Criticize Books? TLS Editor Sir Peter Stothard Calls Lit. Bloggers "Bad for Readers"

By Harriet Staff

In an Independent article posted yesterday, Man Booker Prize judge and Times Literary Supplement editor Sir Peter Stothard complained that criticism has gone downhill in America and England, placing much of the blame on the internet echo chamber:

The 61-year-old says: "There is a widespread sense in the UK, as well as America, that traditional, confident criticism, based on argument and telling people whether the book is any good, is in decline. Quite unnecessarily."

"Criticism needs confidence in the face of extraordinary external competition," the former editor of The Times says. "It is wonderful that there are so many blogs and websites devoted to books, but to be a critic is to be importantly different than those sharing their own taste… Not everyone's opinion is worth the same."

The rise of blogging has proved particularly worrying, he says. "Eventually that will be to the detriment of literature. It will be bad for readers; as much as one would like to think that many bloggers opinions are as good as others. It just ain't so. People will be encouraged to buy and read books that are no good, the good will be overwhelmed, and we'll be worse off. There are some important issues here."

Apparently, some opinions were created more equal than others. Read the full article here.

Originally Published: September 26th, 2012