BuzzFeed Books Won’t Kill Literary Criticism — But Book Snobbery Might

This post by Michelle Dean originally appeared on Flavorwire on 11/8/13.

So here’s the thing: yesterday BuzzFeed Books named its new editor, a sometime friend of mine named Isaac Fitzgerald. I knew Isaac as the Managing Editor of a literary site known as The Rumpus, where I was a weekend editor for several months in 2012. 

Yesterday, he gave the following quote to a media reporting site:

BuzzFeed will do book reviews, Fitzgerald said, but he hasn’t figured out yet what form they’ll take. It won’t do negative reviews: “Why waste breath talking smack about something?” he said. “You see it in so many old media-type places, the scathing takedown rip.” Fitzgerald said people in the online books community “understand that about books, that it is something that people have worked incredibly hard on, and they respect that. The overwhelming online books community is a positive place.”

It’s likely that you, dear readers, have not have been following the latest scintillating round of slapfighting in book critic circles about the “state of criticism.” It’s always a subject of dubious interest to the general population, I think, but let me explain briefly anyway, because the debate is crashing into the perennial concern about the declining popularity of books in our culture, and we all care about books here at Flavorwire, so.


Read the full post on Flavorwire.