8,295 book reviews and counting...

Inside the Critics' Circle Reviews

Inside the Critics' Circle by Phillipa K. Chong

Inside the Critics' Circle

Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times

Phillipa K. Chong

Score pending

1 review

Category: Non-fiction
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 14 Jan 2020
ISBN: 9780691167466
2 stars out of 5
Peter Conrad
26 Jan 2020

" If a book is bad it’s bad and if it’s merely an exercise in academic pseudo-intellection it’s even worse"

I may be a shallow fellow, but I’ve never worried about what Chong clumsily describes as the “lack of groupness” among reviewers. Who cares that no certificates of “accreditation” enrol us in “the institution of literary criticism” or that we “inhabit nonprofessional spaces”? I also hadn’t realised that I was supposed to function as a “market intermediary” or – with luck – as a “cultural consecrator”. And none of the eight successive Observer literary editors for whom I have worked ever ordered contributors to “enact their duties”, which would have sounded unusually bossy.