Jacob Silverman: Some Notes Against Enthusiasm

jacobsilverman:

The dominant sentiments are cloying niceness and blind enthusiasm (particularly on Twitter). Somehow criticism has become synonymous with offense; everything is personal—one’s affection for a book is interchangeable with one’s feelings about its author as a person.

This post seems mistitled—Silverman’s only arguing against phony enthusiasm—but the sentiment is right on. One possible cause that doesn’t get mentioned: the sense that books and literary culture are embattled on all sides, and that those of us who care about them should pull together for the good of the team. I think that’s a sweet but misguided sentiment. If literature is worth defending, it’s worth arguing over honestly.

(Just to be clear: None of the above should be taken as license for anyone to say anything negative about my work, ever, in any context.)

  1. theresadharrisj reblogged this from jacobsilverman
  2. condalmo reblogged this from jacobsilverman and added:
    Jacob Silverman decries...glad-handing, back-slapping
  3. gabrielroth reblogged this from jacobsilverman and added:
    This post seems mistitled—Silverman’s only arguing against phony enthusiasm—but...right...
  4. jacobsilverman posted this