This weekend Dale Peck announced that he won’t won’t pen another negative review once Hatchet Jobs is released in the U.K. this June:
God knows the name-calling doesn’t bother me (although you’d think a clever writer wouldn’t have to resort to homophobia to defend his novel). But it does effectively destroy my ability to be read seriously, by which I mean holistically. I’m the guy who called Moody the worst writer of his generation, and the thousands of words I used to qualify that assertion have disappeared behind it. It took decades for Woolf’s opinion of Joyce to be reduced to a few catchphrases, but only a few weeks for the 5,700 words of my review to be boiled down to its first sentence, and about the same time for the 9,200 words of Julavits’s essay to be reduced to just one. I would think she might be bothered by this, but apparently not – in its most recent issue, The Believer announced “Snarkwatch”, a forum for readers to record “disgruntled reactions to ‘critical activity'”.