Seeing stars: writers should not fear online reviews

Will social media and aggregated preferences sweep away book reviewing and literary culture? There’s nothing new about the death of literatureThe writer Caleb Crain is unhappy about “the intrusion of counting into the life of literature”. He believes that big data and predictive-taste algorithms are cutting humans “out of the loop”, and that social media are undermining our faith in “the mental states of other people” when those inner states aren’t acknowledged in tweets and likes. It seems we are mired in “a new kind of disenchantment”, he says, which is devolving our sense of literary merit. As big data blurs personal opinion into preference aggregates, and as Twitter-propelled article-surfing destroys reviewing communities and the authority of critics alike, Crain contends, we have no choice but to “declare war on counting”. So that, you know, “literature will survive”. Related: Computer says no: Amazon uses AI to combat fake reviews Bad criticism in public is a nuisance. Does it spell the end of days? Hardly [S]uddenly the cosmos seems like one vast plan after all, patterned in such a way that the novel you’re reading at bedtime connects to your astronomy lecture, connects to what you heard on NPR, connects to what your friend discusses in the cafeteria at lunch – and then briefly it’s as if the lid has come off the world, as if the world were a dollhouse, and you can glimpse what it would be like to see it whole, from above – a vertiginous magnificence. Continue... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2015-08-06 00:00:00 UTC ]
News tagged with: #literary merit

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