Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I'm no fan of snark (see here and here) so i was predisposed to like David Denby's recent book condemning it. Then i saw him doing a reading on CSPAN and saved myself fifteen bucks.

A couple of good reviews in Reason and the New York Observer. Mark Steyn reviewed it for Commentary.

The deal-breaker for me was Denby's comments on Tom Wolfe who he accused of racism in Radical Chic. The Reason reviewer notes the smear in his piece. After going back to Radical Chic, i concluded that Denby is either dishonest or a bad reader.

This, i think, gets to the heart of Denby's problem with snark:

For a great majority of Denby’s years as a professional writer, he was effectively firewalled from his critics. In the Age of the Internet, hipster bloggers are baying for the fusty critic’s blood.

I explored this point here:

Agony of the push-media guild

A badge of honor, but maybe not the best business model

They Crossed a Line

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