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January 22, 2004
What Will the Gray Lady Have Wrought?by Ron Hogan
The Book Babes check in on the search for a New York Times Book Review editor (and the revamping of the paper's book coverage in general). The search is down to three or four finalists, but the bigger story is the impending reduction in fiction reviewing and concurrent rise in mass market coverage.
"To be honest, there's so much s---," the new leader of the daily arts section [Stephen Erlanger] observes. "Most of the things we praise aren't very good."
The first thing that suggests to me isn't that Erlanger needs to staunch the flow of literary fiction reviews, but rather that he needs to reassess whether the reviewers praising all that [excrement] need replacing with people who possess functioning critical faculties. I'm just saying.
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