Authors discuss good and bad critics

Authors discuss good and  bad critics

Speaking at the session were Syrian novelist Dr Shahla Ujayli, Dr Rasoul Mohammad Rasoul, a member of the General Union of Writers in Iraq, and Fatheya Al Nimr, an Emirati author.



by

Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Fri 11 Nov 2016, 7:41 PM

Last updated: Fri 11 Nov 2016, 9:50 PM

Critics can either add to the creative process or misuse their status for their own gains, said reputed Arab writers during a cultural session organised on the side line of the 35th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), which will conclude on Saturday.
Speaking at the session were Syrian novelist Dr Shahla Ujayli, Dr Rasoul Mohammad Rasoul, a member of the General Union of Writers in Iraq, and Fatheya Al Nimr, an Emirati author.
Rasoul said that critics often play a vital and positive role in the literature they review: "The author presents a meaning and a message when he writes and the critic's job is to read and evaluate the text. They may certainly disagree, but they are all contributing to the same art.
Shahla, who teaches Modern Arabic Literature at the University of Aleppo, said critics must have deeper qualities than assessing text. "Between a writer and a critic there is bound to be times of friction but in equal measures, there are friendships and relationships. Criticism is not a case of being able to read text, it is a question of recognising life, philosophy, culture, history and so on. You should not only describe the literature, you must talk about the authors as people and understand their values."
"A critic is someone who needs to know his craft. He should know how to form characters and develop plots. If he doesn't, it's like being a driving instructor when you have never driven a car," said Fatheya Al Nimr.
"However, that does not mean having the ability to criticise makes a good critic. We still see a number of reviewers who have the knowledge, the qualifications and the right language to evaluate a book in a responsible, authoritative way. Instead, they abuse their expertise to flex their academic muscles in order to appear as a master of the arts themselves."
- afkarali@khaleejtimes.com


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