“If literary culture is a school, serious criticism can be found in the classroom. Social networks are the cafeteria — what you find there will be loud and gossipy, amusing but not very satisfying.” – Roxane Gay at salon.com.
I cite Roxane Gay in response to Rachelle Cruz’s recent blog post “On ‘Liking’ and Being ‘Liked’,” in which Rachelle asks a lot of great questions:
In the effort to build communities online and in-person, especially for writers-of-color, does “niceness” and enthusiasm restrict our ability to give honest feedback or write critical reviews of each other’s work (which is important!)? Amidst the kumbaya-ing, do we begin to care more about “safe spaces” than the writing itself? After fostering a “safe” community (and I put safe in quotes because I think that nowhere is a safe space for writing), where do we go from there? Lastly, if we do practice critical reading and writing of each other’s work, are we afraid of airing our “dirty laundry” for the public to see?