Once upon a time, I made the naïve resolution to read more poetry and review it here on the blog. Surely, I thought, this will help me develop as a writer and a literary critic, if I can have a working knowledge of the current landscape of poetry. It would build character! I just forgot one thing.
I kinda hate modern poetry.
In last Sunday’s The New York Times, the Book Review did something new—while there were reviews of new books, it was anchored by six essays discussing and defending literary criticism in the Facebook era. I was fascinated. As an English major, I’m being trained as a literary critic. While I plan to become an editor or otherwise involved in publishing, there are few things I love more than reading a book and sucking the very marrow out of its bones. (This sort of thing is partially why this blog is called The Literary Omnivore—I tend to think about reading in terms of consumption.) It pains me to see people set aside or ignore problematic issues in books instead of addressing them. But I realize literary criticism is not exactly viewed as accessible by the general public, which is why I’m sharing these six essays with you; these are essays intended to explain why literary criticism is so important in the digital era.