One reason perhaps is that these essays aren't being written, at least not by the younger generation of writers, be they critics, practitioners or both. After the recent panel discussion, an editor told me that the younger writers from whom she tried to commission this kind of criticism are simply not interested in writing it. Reviews – those 300-to-600 word nuggets of evaluative judgmental prose resulting in a thumbs-up/thumbs-down one-to-five star review – yes, there's a lot of those about, and people who want to write them (for there is a market, apparently). If these same artists who so frequently observe the lack of this long-form criticism don't really want to write it, though, it's unlikely they really want to read it either.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Looking for Long Form Criticism? - Somebody Needs to Write It
George Hunka writes about the lack of distribution of essay length critical writing for the theatre.