of reviews and views

Posted by Daniela Elza on Jul 05 2012

Well, this is interesting. It is a discussion on reviews (positive or negative, if you are into dichotomies) that needs to happen. I am glad it is happening. Interesting how it is happening. I have added a quick response in the comments section of Jan Zwicky’s piece The Ethics of the Negative Review. Have not had much time to write more eloquently on this topic. Though I am quite interested and spend quite a bit of time thinking about it. It touches on a lot of threads that need exploring.

Jan Zwicky’s essay, “The Ethics of the Negative Review,” was reprinted on Canadian Women In the Literary Art’s website (CWILA) last month. There are a bunch of comments after the piece voicing thoughts on the issue. Including mine.

Then, the National Post published Michael Lista’s essay, “The Good in Bad Reviews,” which sought to refute Zwicky’s piece.

They then published Zwicky’s response “Good, bad — and just plain ugly.” Perhaps Lista did not expect this response. It is good for him to know that Zwicky is capable of the rhetoric he promotes. It is just that she chooses not to practice it. His turn now to be the one with the thick skin that he says people publishing should have. He says: “No one is forcing these people, we who are too many, to publish; if you’re squeamish, put your poems in a goddamn drawer. And if you can’t stomach the occasional reader disclosing that she doesn’t like your poems, well: There’s always law school.”
Discussions continued on Twitter, Facebook, and several other venues.

Lista, who is the Post‘s poetry columnist, then responded to Zwicky responding. His response is here.

I like Kevin McNeilly’s response to Michael Lista for teasing some of the treads in this debate. Debate to put it mildly.

Also I enjoyed the latest addition at the National Post from Ross Leckie, (editor of the Fiddlehead): Some further thoughts on negative reviewing.

One Response to “of reviews and views”

  1. Strange Places » to what sort of review culture should Canada aspire? Says:

    […] recent questions raised by the nature of the negative review etc. Here are more links in my post on reviews and views for more background of this […]