818 Book reviewing

(More observations on Lord of a Visible World)

Just a quick note on some of the comments editors made when they passed on H.P. Lovecraft’s manuscripts. On page 330, he lists some of these responses in a 1934 letter: “Verbose—long-winded—slow—nothing happens—novelette length for short story idea—etc. etc. etc.”

I’ve heard them all levelled at my own works of fiction, and more. I’m still too gunshy to try to have my work published, but I know I have to take the plunge one of these days. At least I’m writing more than I used to. And I’m trying not to care what my critics might say. I try to remember, Led Zeppelin got their share of bad reviews, some of which they deserved, but it didn’t slow them down.

We saw Doubt tonight. As she exited the theater, one woman who had just seen it gave it a big thumbs down, but I thought there wasn’t a false note in it. It was so good it made me wish I had written it. Criticism really doesn’t seem to mean anything. It seems to depend completely upon the expectations of the reader, viewer or listener.