5.20.2007

I knew Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, Mr. Schickel. Charles ...5 hours ago by Alan Vanneman
Time Magazine film critic Richard Schickel, doin’ what a Time Magazine critic does best, makin’ a complete ass of himself at the LA Times.
Bright Lights After Dark - http://brightlightsfilm.blogspot.com/


Important things first2 hours ago by imani
Richard Schickel labours under the impression that Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve is a name much bandied about among the literati. Now Mr Schickel was a Guggenheim fellow so I’m going to assume that he didn’t reach for an undergrad text ...
The Books of My Numberless Dreams - http://imani.wordpress.com


cold10 Mar 2007 by SarahJane
It would be a lie to say there’s no pleasure in it. “Despair itself, if it goes on long enough, can become a kind of sanctuary in which one settles down and feels at ease.” – Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve ...
The Rain in My Purse - http://theraininmypurse.blogspot.com/index.html


Quote of the Day27 Jan 2007 by Patsy Terrell
"Tell me who admires you and loves you, and I will tell you who you are." Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (French literary Historian and Critic, 1804-1869)

22 Jan 2007
"When the destiny of a nation is in a woman's bedroom, the best place for the historian is in the antechamber." ~ Charles - Augustin Sainte-Beuve

below from http://www.osmond-riba.org/lis/journal/default.htm

Meanwhile, Kevin Drum addresses Richard Schickel's dismissal of criticism in the blogosphere.

I may address his complaints in more detail later, but the passage that first caught my eye references:

French critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, a name not much bruited in the blogosphere, I'll warrant.

To which, I couldn't help but reply:

O RLY?

A quick Google Blog Search on the name turns up nearly 100 mentions, almost all before this article was released.

So much for that assumption...

Sometimes, it's like shooting fish in a barrel...

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2007_05/011343.php

YOU HATE US, YOU REALLY HATE US!....Time's resident film reviewer, Richard Schickel, doesn't like the blogosphere:

Let me put this bluntly, in language even a busy blogger can understand: Criticism — and its humble cousin, reviewing — is not a democratic activity....French critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, a name not much bruited in the blogosphere, I'll warrant....We have to find in the work of reviewers something more than idle opinion-mongering....They need to prove, not merely assert, their right to an opinion. ....At the recent Los Angeles Times Festival of Books [] blogging was presented as an attractive alternative — it doesn't take much time, and it is a method of publicly expressing oneself (like finger-painting, I thought to myself, but never mind).

This kind of stuff doesn't really bother me. I mean, bloggers can dish it out, so I suppose we should be able to take it too.

What strikes me, though, is that Schickel's jeremiad isn't unusual: all too often, people who complain about the vitriol and ignorance of the blogosphere find themselves so tongue-tied by the whole phenomenon that their criticism plunges with barely a backward glance into paroxysms of....vitriol and ignorance. There's something about the whole subject that almost inevitably sends them into conniptions.

So I wonder what Schickel's problem really is. Has he never before heard anyone complain about art critics being too elite for the average joe? I doubt it. That's an ancient sport. Does he truly believe that bloggers think their work belongs in the same pantheon as Edmund Wilson and George Orwell? That's hard to credit. Has he never noticed that average joes have been producing home-brew criticism for centuries? Surely not.

So what is it? Merely the fact that this is happening on a different and modestly larger stage than before? Is that really so threatening?

POSTSCRIPT: What's really odd about Schickel's piece is that it was apparently inspired by an article about literary bloggers and the decline of newspaper reviewers that ran in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago. But it's the farthest thing imaginable from blogger triumphalism.

[I wonder about that LA TIMES FESTIVAL OF BOOKS -- as perhaps Imani does -- but HE'S A FILM CRITIC, and for the LA TIMES -- hello, hello!!!]
Astroturfing is a term for formal public relations campaigns in politics and advertising that seek to create the impression of being spontaneous, grassroots behavior. Hence the reference to AstroTurf (artificial grass) is a metaphor to indicate fake grassroots support.

The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the agenda of a client as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt ("outreach," "awareness," etc.) and covert (disinformation) means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by anything from an individual pushing their own personal agenda through to highly organized professional groups with financial backing from large corporations, non-profits, or activist organizations.

from wikipedia