6.28.2013

Whatever the opposite of a hatchet job is

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.
I've always had a hard time writing reviews for books I adore. I end up gushing and repeating that I loved it. It's hard to say why, sometimes. I first noticed it when I read Machiavelli's The Prince. It was the first pragmatic work of philosophy that I had ever read. It was refreshing after all the metacognition and abstraction. But when it came time to write the paper, it was hard to make an argument because I thought that everything was perfectly self-evident.

It's a little easier with fiction than in academia. I suspect that my enthusiasm for a story convinces people instead of my babbling. I was thinking about this while I wrote up my experience reading Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. I enjoyed it so much it was hard to write sense.

Not to be hyperbolic--but I'm going to anyway--I suspect that listening me gush about a book is like listening to someone gush about their new sweetie.

It's easy to write a review of a book I disliked. When I dislike something, it's easy to see and remember every little error and annoyance. It's easy to pick holes in their argument because I really want to. Not that the books I love need glossing over. (At least, I don't think so.) Man, it is hard to make a coherent argument when you're twitterpated by prose. I suppose this is why you see so many more hatchet jobs an gushing adulations. 

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