Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Steven Poole exchange with myself

I am now having a bit of banter with Steven Poole on the Guardian webpage on which his very negative review of my book appears, if you are interested. Go here.

8 comments:

Bill Snedden said...

Hilarious. One would think that a minimum requirement of reviewing non-fiction would be the ability to read objectively. One would apparently be wrong, at least insofar as the Guardian's hiring practices are concerned...

Paul said...

I guess there are people that do and people that review. But people who review seem to have a privileged position in which they can casually distort about what was written and then poke fun at their mangled version of it. Lazy and dishonest really.

jeremy said...

Yikes! That's some high level misrepresentation by Poole. Quite appalling, actually!

For what it's worth, Stephen, what is the FULL sentence that begins "In order to refute humanism as I have characterized it, then, it is not enough..."?

Things aren't looking good for Poole in this exchange. Must be incredibly frustrating to be subject to this idiot's judgements...

Ken said...

Mind you, the books that turn up in Steven Poole's short review box are often of interest and it is useful to have one's attention drawn to them, irrespective of the accuracy of his reporting - Stephen's being one good example.

Rocky said...

I'm always a bit skeptical of whether book reviewers read all these books that they review from start to finish, or if they do, that they read them especially thoroughly (the latter seems unlikely in this instance given the rather blatant misrepresentations of your claims).

Stephen Law said...

I can't get too pissed off about it to be honest - I realize it was a fairly causal knock-about review. But obviously I'm entitled to set the record straight when Poole gets things wrong. I didn't proudly announce that Humanism can't be refuted.

Jeremy, the sentence which Steven took to show I do think that reads:

"In order to refute Humanism as I have characterized it, then, it is not enough that one refute utopianism, utilitarianism, scientism or naturalism. A humanist can reject, or remain neutral concerning, all these philosophical stances."

jeremy said...

As I thought. Only an idiot could misunderstand that sentence in the way Poole does.

Hugo said...

"Otherwise the truth of "In order to refute the claim that Steven Poole is a moron, it is not enough to show that Steven Poole has said one stupid thing" would entail that "Steven Poole is a moron" can't be refuted."

That's not very graceful.