Sven Birkerts Laments...

...what has happened to the good reviews, i.e. the non-snark and non-cheap-shot reviews.

He writes: "[T]he vitality of [polemic and feature-related journalism] depends in a thousand subtle ways on the vitality of [reviewing].

"[I]f we read [a snark review,] it was with the same churning fascination we feel when someone on the city bus starts acting crazy and shouting obscenities. The screamer's 'Fuck you!' about his job or spouse lets us get to our own frustration and rage."

He blames postmodern theory and commercialism. It's a good essay although not exactly sure-footed.

Daniel Green responds. He's not at his top form--a little chatty--but it's interesting in light of the above linked article.

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