[Milton-L] soliciting of reviews

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Sat Dec 13 19:59:25 EST 2008


Ha, well....yes, hard to argue with that.  There is a certain unproductive
pleasure in reading particularly vicious reviews.  Honestly, the worst
review I've read is G.E. Bentley's review of Hirsch's book on Blake's
Songs.  It's not so much that what he said was so bad, but the tone of
forced restraint said far more than his explicitly negative comments.

Do you think it's possible that a peer review system for younger reviewers
that is suspended for senior scholars might address some of your concerns?
A new Ph.D. has done quite a bit of reading, and very recently, so should be
able to write a competent review, at least in his or her field.

At least I'm inclined to think so.

Jim R

On Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 3:58 PM, Hannibal Hamlin
<hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com>wrote:

> Jim,
>
> Sure, and of course it's not "blind" trust, but still.  I often find it
> annoying if a review is too much about the reviewer.  No doubt you've read,
> as I have, the kind of review, often by very senior scholars, that says
> little about the book in question, but rambles on self-indulgently about how
> important their own work has been or what they like or don't or anything
> that pops into their head.  I also think this applies to the kind of
> negative review we all enjoy, but which is often totally uninformative.  The
> best example here, safely away from Milton studies, is the restaurant
> reviewing of A. A. Gill.  It's brilliant in its savage put-downs, and
> delightful to read, but hardly a guide to good cooking.
>
> Hannibal
>
>
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