Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

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Jimmy Beck

I'm wondering what you made of Christopher Hitchens's discussion of Graham Greene in this month's Atlantic? I found it to be both maddening and enlightening. On the one hand, there was plenty of "I remember reading The Heart of the Matter while getting drunk at a bar in Cyprus" (to be expected from Hitch) along with some bizarre stuff, like complaints that Greene never wrote about abortion. On the other, I felt that Hitch was truly getting at something about Greene's writing, his style and the relevance of Greene's Catholicism to his characters' behavior.

Dan Green

Frankly, I thought that review was mostly an ad hominem attack, a dismissal of Greene's writing because Hitchens thinks he was an unpleasant man. (Perhaps more on this later, as I'm currently writing an essay about Hitchens as a literary critic.)


It's true that really indepth criticism is hard to find. The same applies for film reviews. There are reviewers and their are critics. The reviewer mainly tells us if the work is good or bad. While the critic writes with an understanding that his readers will have already read [or watched or listened to] the work. The mainstream press works hand in hand with the marketing of a work. Indepth criticism just doesn't fit the mold of the mainstream press.

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