Becoming A Literary Critic

Literary critics are people who provide reviews of books, poems and other forms of media based around the written word. The internet has allowed everyone in the world to spread their opinions online. However, if someone wants to become a serious and professional critic, there are several steps that need to be taken.

Study Book Theory

Criticism is not as simple as stating whether a book or poem is enjoyable. Real reviews use book theories and link them to the work in question. For instance, if an author is writing in a self aware manner, then critics could relate this to postmodernism. It is worth taking a literature course in order to better understand the many theories that have been developed throughout the centuries.

Read Work By Professional Critics

It is crucial that reviews are written in a standard and professional format. To better understand this format, people can read through reviews in newspapers, magazines and trusted online publications. While it is important for every critic to have their own unique voice, they still need to follow certain guidelines.

Join A Book Club

Reviews are not just about a person’s individual opinion. They can also reflect how the general public feel about the work. To get a clearer perspective, the critic may join a book club. This will also help them to sharpen their analytical skills.

Read Constantly

Ideally, the critic should read every single day. There is a plethora of literature out there to consume. This includes both beloved classics and brand new work. The more the critic reads, the wider their scope of knowledge will become. A key part of reviewing is comparing new books with ones from the past.

Understand Context

Context refers to the social, historical and cultural landscape in which the book or poem has been written. For instance, Oliver Twist came out during a time when child poverty was rampant. This fact is important for understanding what Charles Dickens was trying say about the society in which he lived. When reading older literature, critics need to be aware of its context. This is also true for modern work.

Understand Subtext

Subtext is the hidden message of the work. For example, the book Lord of the Flies on the surface is about boys stuck on an island. The subtext could be interpreted as being about power struggles in wider society or how isolation can cause humans to revert back to primal nature. Context and subtext are often linked. Being aware of both can help critics be great at their job.

Utilise The Internet

As previously stated, the internet has allowed practically anyone to become a critic. It is worth posting blogs of reviews on the internet. This will allow critics to reach a mass audience.