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.


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.