Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Overlap Between Journalism and Criticism

The reanimated philosopher ran a finger over the parchment, flaking skin and dripping blood on its rumpled surface. His left eye-ball slipped slightly from the socket as he swivelled to face his tormentor.

"What the hell are these circles supposed to represent? All the elegance has gone out of psychic cartography," he moaned.

"It is a Venn Diagram representing the overlap of criticism, journalism and reviewing," I replied. "It reveals that the three disciplines are not exclusive domains."

"You might as well draw any three placements of the circles, make 'em concentric, air bubbles in a body of water, three parallel lines that intersect. If we're making shit up..."

"I wouldn't have sacrificed a goat to you if I'd known you wouldn't help."

"Drawing nice pictures and pretending that they map reality isn't my business," Aristotle snarled. "That is the stock in trade of the charlatan Plato. Big statements and no evidence."

"He's busy working as Russell Brand's ghost-writer." I snapped. "I wanted to continue my thoughts on the difference between critics and reviewers."

"That's bloody simple, sunshine. A reviewer reviews: they look at an event, and comment on it. A critic uses a broader frame of reference, maybe context, maybe some half-baked idea he stole from the pocket of a corpse."

"Isn't it a question of naming activity, rather than ascribing functions to already established categories?"

"Along with most of your readership, I have no idea what that means. Hang on, is this a dialogue?"

"I thought it was the best dramatic format to engage you..."

"Dialogues are Platonic. Send me back to hell, right now."

"Nay, thou shalt stay within thy circle and enumerate for me the qualities and nature of the critic."

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