Thursday, September 25, 2008

Star bar

My favorite curmudgeonly critic Norman Lebrecht offers his point of view about the ever-increasing trend toward using stars as critical shorthand:

Of all the devices that devalue the function of criticism, the bar of stars is among the most pernicious. It suggests that artistic creation can be ticked off like a school essay and subjected to a set of SATs, in which the individual, expert guidance of teachers and examiners is set aside for the one-rule-fits-all solution of 21st century politicians.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

My favorite part of Cold Comfort Farm was the stars she said she would insert before the most outstanding selections of her purple prose-- so readers could find the best bits easily, like they did with a Baedeker.

Sara Z. said...

I hate the star system. This is why I have given up on reviewing books on Amazon or GoodReads or anything that forces you to add a star rating to your comments. I could give a really bad book 5 stars because it was what I needed at the moment and it fulfilled its promise, whatever that was, and I could give a really good book 2 stars because it could have been better.