Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I just sent back one like this, marked RE DO
I know it's trendy to knock Michiko Kakutani, but, honestly, her column today about two new biographies of Leni Riefenstahl was just the laziest kind of reviewing. In a favorite Times technique, she spends most of her space restating the scoop on Riefenstahl she read in the books she was reviewing, in a tone that implied she already knew this stuff. She devotes one very brief paragraph to comparing a single difference between the two authors' points of view. She makes no evaluative judgment of either book, let alone vis a vis each other. I have no idea what one book does differently from the other; I have no idea which one I would rather read. Why review a book if you're not prepared to give an opinion? Why review two together on the same subject if you're not going to compare them?