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The sham of forced writing is exposed in the "New Republic" of this week by a paid member of the critical fraternity. This shameless reviewer makes the wide retreat of anonymity his confessional. From that untouchable haven, the exposes the method of putting a perfunctory bits into uninspired comment.
Such an admission must delight many authors outraged by a cacophonous conjunction of insult bearing words. Perhaps it will take the sting from an evil-flavored review to know that the critic did not believe his published opinion. In order to hold his job, the reviewer must grind out comment which will command attention. And obviously the easiest method of inspiring interest is the satirical. All mankind from the village gossip to the astute politician is quite willing to hear evil of its neighbor, be he friend or foe.
Nor can the critic always be blamed for his shrewishness. Even though one grant him a disposition superior to chronic mud slinging, his provocation is immense. Before rattling off the presses, most novels have endured compression to standard dimensions of theme and plot. More than human patience would be required for the reviewer to pick out minor originalities from this stereotyped mass. After all, acidity is the best antidote for dullness.
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