Monday 18 March 2013

A poor review

A stupendously inane review of James Wood ‘s latest book The Fun Stuff and Other Essays (Jonathan Cape, 2013) appeared in the Dominion Post’s your weekend supplement  of March 16th, by someone called Chris Humphreys whom I was unable to track down online.

A truly embarrassing performance, particularly as NZ has so many people who are able to do better:  the staff and many of the students at Victoria's International Institute of Modern Letters and those at English Lit departments in universities across the country.

Humphreys writes:
 “One gets the impression that not only has he [Wood] read a novel several times over…”
Note to Chris: many people with an interest in literature may read the books they admire several times.

 “…but that he has read everything written about that particular novel" - Wood is an eminent literary critic and it goes without saying that he will have read widely.  
Chris, you might yourself benefit from looking up what others have written about this book. 

“…the entire absence of an agenda…” So naive, Chris, like a schoolgirl with a crush.  It is unlikely that Wood sees himself 'without an agenda'. We all have a point of view and tend to have an agenda derived from it. 

There is more - worse? - including the title of the review. It is appalling. Ignorant, uneducated, presumptuous.

No comments: