steepholm (steepholm) wrote,
steepholm
steepholm

This one's been around for a while...

... but I only saw it today. Despite the title, it's more a guide to reviewing terms, on the lines of those "What Estate Agent's Jargon Really Means" pieces. But can it be added to?

Sarah Harrison's Guide to Lit Crit

Enchanting : there's a dog in it.
Heartwarming : a dog and a child.
Heartrending : they die.
Thoughtful : tedious.
Thought-provoking : tedious and hectoring.

Haunting : set in the past.
Exotic : set abroad.
Prize-winning : set in India.
Perceptive : set in NW3.

Epic : editor cowed by writer's reputation.
From the pen of a master : same old same old.
In the tradition of : shamelessly derivative.
Provocative : irritating.

Spare and taut : under-researched.
Richly detailed : over-researched.

ETA: Additions from flist and elsewhere:

Original : steals from a work with which the critic is unfamiliar

Gripping : No characters
Fast-paced : No story
Shocking : Awful

Lyrical : Keep a dictionary handy.
Lyrical and poetic : Keep a bucket handy.
Expertly crafted : We have no idea what it's about.

Coming-of-age story : child lives. Dog dies.
His/her masterpiece : Eye-watering advance
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