The title of James' recent post at City of Tongues (also listed here at The Group) is taken in vain by Ramona Koval's programmers to introduce a session at Radio National's Book Show on literary criticism, with Delia Falconer and Geordie Williamson.
This session acted also as publicity for the ASAL conference on Common Readers and Critics, held last week in Canberra. (we should be able to read some of those thought provoking presentations in JASAL early next year.)
This BookShow session is notable chiefly for Williamson's remarks on protecting Australian writing from comparisons with work from overseas, and, rather incredibly, his handpass to Falconer in the final five minutes of play, on Koval's nimbly explosive suggestion that it shouldn't be necessary to publish negative reviews if there are lots of good books around. (Not quite why I prefer not to publish negative reviews here, but a surprising suggestion nonetheless.)
And all GW says is, "well, I think that's one for you, Delia." !!!
The answer to that question might be, 'yes, it's something lone bloggers can get away with, I think, Ramona, but editors and writers working together can afford to cover a broader canvas.' It's not even a really useful excuse for a blogger. Where would any media program (RN Book Show included) be if it was friendly all the time because everything it cast its eye over was 'pretty noice, thanks'?
Falconer rises to the occasion like a right sport - do check out her wonderful article on James Wood here if you haven't already (among many other things). It is a shame that Koval chooses to cut her off at the end as she does, and I thank a friend who's an attentive listener for alerting me to Williamson's clumsy pass.