Whose judgements are more trustworthy when it comes to books? Do amateur bloggers online do a better job than established literary critics in the press?These are two questions to be addressed at the Oxford Literary Festival on 31st March by a panel of two book bloggers and two academics. Questions worthy of discussion of course, if only to define some of those terms. However, it looks to me criticism itself, rather its location, is the concealed issue. In responding to James Wood's new book How Fiction Works, one panellist has already expressed discontent with the established approach:
It seems to me that asking how fiction works is a very dull question indeed next to the existential one that really matters: why fiction is.It's a question unlikely to trouble many "book lovers" but, if there are critics willing to address it, right now there's only one medium offering space to do so.