In Defense of Snark

You’re gonna want to read this Maud Newton post on snark because soon all the cool kids will be linking it (if they haven’t already).

Seriously though, Maud may coast along posting links and quiet comments but then all of a sudden she’s like POW – serious commentary! Here is a particularly strong snippet:

So, while I think that entertainingly informing readers is snark’s raison d’etre, I also believe that the boldly negative critique may be the only weapon available for stemming the tide of mediocre writing offered by the corrupt book publishing industry and its shadowy ally, the creative writing program. And the only supposed threat it poses, according to Julavits, is that of dampening ambition through fear, resulting in less exciting work. To this I can only say that if “ambition” serves as euphemism for hyper-intellectual, emotionally unengaging, contrivedly inventive or experimental narratives, such as those James Wood has termed hysterical realism, then this wouldn’t be to our culture’s detriment.

Thought provoking, no? I hope to post some ideas about what I look for in a book review (remember this question?) soon.

UPDATE: Ok, as CAAF so graciously points out in the comments, the post in question was written by Emma Garman – my appologies Emma. But that in no way negates what I said about Maud herself whose vision and wisdom permeates her eponymous blog.

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

View all posts

1 Comment

  • Kevin, I completely agree with you on both the excellence of the piece and the excellence of Maud, but feel beholden to point out that it was Emma Garman, herself a writer and blogger, who authored this particular one-two punch.