Booker prize head judge Peter Stothard says book blogs harm literature, but a blog can explore a work at length and give coverage to books other than those recently published.
Yesterday Sir Peter Stothard, editor of the Times Literary Supplement and chair of the judges for this year’s Man Booker prize, hit out at book bloggers. The rise of blogs will, he says, be “to the detriment of literature”. They are in competition with “traditional, confident criticism” and the end result will be that “people will be encouraged to buy and read books that are no good, the good will be overwhelmed, and we’ll be worse off”. Who is the we to whom he refers? And is he right? Are bloggers merely self-published critics, facing as much of an uphill battle for respect as self-published authors? Are they insufficiently authoritative and rigorous, too in thrall to the latest book-with-buzz, too easily swayed by publicists’ puff?
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