Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Why is peer review so popular? It's because we write to be read, of course. That's what we all crave, isn't it? Even a critical eye is better than no eye at all - although of course we'd all prefer the uncritical one.
But whenever we get a stinking review we can always comfort ourselves with the knowledge that the great and good have faced such humiliation before us. I like to read the one-star Amazon reviews of bestsellers to remind myself that no one, no matter how successful, is immune from criticism.
Here's a sample:
"Page after page of gibberish that makes no sense at all..." Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy.
".. a weak, pathetic imitation of literature that doesnt even deserve to be called a book." Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling.
"..upperclass British drivel" Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
What a hoot!
So take heart, gentle writer. Next time someone trashes your magnum opus, remember everybody gets it in the neck sometimes.