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Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za

Menings | Opinion > SeminaarKamer | Seminar Room > English > Mini-seminars

Are South African critics too soft?

Karabo Kgoleng - 2010-12-02

JCW asked the same question at Franschhoek earlier this year on her panel “Reviewing the Reviewers”. I was on the panel.

There is space for constructive criticism of a book or piece of art without crucifying the artist. There is too little space in our media for exposure as it is; to use it all up crapping on others’ work is not on. If I really don’t like something I prefer not to cover it at all. Having said that, there is no accounting for taste and that is what a reviewer needs to keep in mind. If a piece of work is badly edited, so be it – that we can do something about. If you disagree with an idea you can do so without passing yourself off as the ultimate authority on good ideas and bad ideas. For me to turn my taste into the holy grail of what is good and what is bad art is the kind of arrogance and self-righteousness that I pray never to display on a public platform. It’s insulting to the artist and the public. As a result, I’ve learnt to suspend my distaste towards something and that has, in many cases, forced my mind open, which I appreciate, even if I still don’t like it or agree with it after the fact.

Karabo Kgoleng
Presenter, writer, MC


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