Михаил Назаренко (petro_gulak) wrote,
Михаил Назаренко

The Importance of Being Critic

Из интервью Джона Клюта, критика, писателя, соредактора «Энциклопедии НФ» и «Энциклопедии фэнтези»:
What are the chief rewards of the freelance literary critic's life, and the pitfalls (if any)?
Clute: The worst pitfall, I like to think, is guilt – a solid gold, mother's-milk, introjected, Protestant anguish about the relationship of the worldly soul and Duty, Duty being understood here as honest Work, like what my parents gave their lives to. But I know this is codswallop. The worst pitfall of being freelance is shame. Even now that I'm old enough to have already retired from a real job, I find myself waking up some mornings with the most appalling sense that I've been Named and Shamed at last, stark naked in the Mall where honest people spend honest wages. That the bank, the parents, the friends, the lovers, the colleagues have all suddenly realized that you've been cheating them all these years. And suddenly, just like being naked, your wallet is entirely empty.
Which brings up the other pitfall, the obvious one: That there is no salary. You could really be naked.
And you have no excuse.
On the other hand, I suppose the heart of what is good about being a freelance is so evident to any freelance that it is hard to remember that others don't share the privilege: The privilege of living your own life.
That you can remember your life unbroken.
That you can walk into the street as a child does (though creakier), as though the world lies before you (though dimmer). Being a freelance, when the juices are flowing and the panic (see above) has been leashed for a bit, is like a daily moult.
More practically, you are able to say yes to new work.

Is outspoken honesty difficult for reviewers in the SF field, and outside it, for that matter?
Clute: [...] because everybody knew everybody in a field which claimed to try to tell the truth about the world, being "kind" to people we knew, as reviewers, was intensely damaging. It ate away at the very notion of a field that told - that speculated about - the truth. I knew, and know, that telling the truth is very hard to manage. It is very difficult to be honest in print when you know personally the writer you are being honest about. Praise (which is also part of candour) cloys in the throat; dispraise feels like treachery.
But you gotta do it. If you don't, you're nothing but cholesterol. So there's no choice, really.

Правильный человек – Джон Клют.
Tags: clute

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