I haven't any right to criticize: editing book reviews for American periodicals
book reviews, scholarship
In Small World (1984), British academic and novelist David Lodge shows us how one enthusiastic notice, well-timed and well-placed, can create a scholarly phenomenon. Esteemed critic Rudyard Parkinson, resentful that he has even been asked to stoop to write a review, decides to use the opportunity to take revenge against a rival: he resolves to make an academic star of little-known Philip Swallow and, by so doing, antagonize Morris Zapp, a character modeled by Lodge after Stanley Fish. This fictional series of events has stayed with me for the length of my professional career. I think about it often. Do reviews actually make a difference in the reception of our scholarship? Is being asked to review a book an honor, or is it a chore? How have reviews changed, and how are they changing, in the era of blogs and tweets?
Monk, C. (2015). I Haven't Any Right to Criticize: Editing Book Reviews for American Periodicals. American Periodicals, 25(1), 15-19.
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