Monday, July 02, 2007

Wm Logan watch

In the June issue of The New Criterion, William Logan treats readers to a group review of John Ashbery, Frieda Hughes, Cathy Park Hong, Henri Cole, Frederick Seidel, and, of course, Robert Lowell.

Or, to put it another way, three books published by FSG, two by HarperCollins, one by W.W. Norton.

"When a critic stops making discoveries, it's time for him to hang up his pen." Willam Logan, New York Times, April 8, 2007

If he didn't dismiss Hong's book, one could argue that he's making a discovery in this review (which is available online at

Has Logan made any discoveries as a critic in the past few years? If not, should he follow his own advice? Or is his bad-boy reviewing style sufficient reason for him to keep plugging and pot-shotting away?


Patrick Lovelace said...

as a richmond boy
i gotta say i don't really care for the fellow

Adam strauss said...

I like Logan's reviews; often times reviews amount to advertisements, with criticism carefuly phrased so as to be nearly invisible; Logan is brash, but brashness can be fun--especially when in the case of Ashbery a review which isn't adoring won't hurt him; as well, I think the Wordly Country review is pretty sharp (that god couplet ending is pretty ridiculous, though calculatedly so I suppose), though there's no mention of what a good title that is! I don't get the idea that a critic must discover; wouldn't that amount to an unpublished book? I mean yah, Reginald Shepherd isn't reviewed as often as I'd like, but Pitt poetry series isn't an obscure press. I hope all's well with everyone.

F. David Mencken said...

He has, how do we put it these days, jumped the shark.

Blogging's rather new to me, but I've got a little more of the "William Logan watch" going at this site:

F. David Mencken