The Digital Critic

LITERARY CULTURE ONLINE


Edited by HOUMAN BAREKAT, ROBERT BARRY, and DAVID WINTERS

Foreword by KASIA BODDY

“A compelling, kaleidoscopic account of the ways literary criticism—that vital, often disputatious, and now overwhelmingly digital public conversation by and for lovers of the written word—has transformed over recent decades. It’s also a welcome invitation to ponder how we might help literary culture’s most interesting niches and compelling tendencies evolve and thrive in a new era.” —Astra Taylor, author of Examined Life: Excursions With Contemporary Thinkers

“How is new technology changing the way we produce, distribute, and consume writing? There are no easy answers, but the trenchant analysis in these pages is itself evidence that critical culture is alive and well in the digital age.” —Boris Dralyuk, executive editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books

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About the Book

What do we think of when we think of literary critics? Enlightenment snobs in powdered wigs? Professional experts? Cloistered academics? Through the end of the 20th century, book review columns and literary magazines held onto an evolving but stable critical paradigm, premised on expertise, objectivity, and carefully measured response. And then the Internet happened.

From the editors of Review 31 and 3:AM Magazine, The Digital Critic brings together a diverse group of perspectives—early-adopters, Internet skeptics, bloggers, novelists, editors, and others—to address the future of literature and scholarship in a world of Facebook likes, Twitter wars, and Amazon book reviews. It takes stock of the so-called Literary Internet up to the present moment, and considers the future of criticism: its promise, its threats of decline, and its mutation, perhaps, into something else entirely.

With contributions from Robert Barry, Russell Bennetts, Michael Bhaskar, Louis Bury, Lauren Elkin, Scott Esposito, Marc Farrant, Orit Gat, Thea Hawlin, Ellen Jones, Anna Kiernan, Luke Neima, Will Self, Jonathon Sturgeon, Sara Veale, Laura Waddell, and Joanna Walsh.

220 pages • Paperback ISBN 978-1-682190-76-0 • E-book 978-1-682190-77-7

About the Editors

houman barekat author photo

Houman Barekat reviews for the TLS, Literary Review, the Irish Times, Prospect and the London Magazine, and contributes to online journals including 3:AM, Full Stop and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the founder and managing editor of the online literary journal Review 31.

robert barry author photo

Robert Barry writes for publications such as The Wire, Frieze, The Atlantic Monthly, BBC Music, Fact, The Quietus, Thump, Wired, and Art Review. He is the visual art editor at The Quietus and technology and digital culture editor at Review 31.

david winters author photo

David Winters has written for The GuardianThe Independent, the TLS, the Los Angeles Review of BooksThe New InquiryThe MillionsThe Rumpus and elsewhere. Infinite Fictions, a collection of his critical essays, was published in 2015. He is co-editor in chief of 3:AM Magazine.


Foreword by Kasia Boddy, lecturer in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of Boxing: A Cultural History and The American Short Story Since 1950, and the editor of The New Penguin Book of American Short Stories.