Alexandra Lange | Essays

Announcing LetsGetCritical.org

Let's Get Critical logo, designed by Angela Riechers

Reader, I did it.

In April I wrote, in a post on two funny, pointed reviews of recent design shows,
Fodder for my perhaps-never-to-happen shortform blog, Let's Get Critical. Let's Get Critical would pick choice reviews from the wide world of culture, so you (if you were like me) would always have a place to go when you needed to read something (constructively, eloquently) mean... Collecting reviews of different types in one place would allow some patterns to emerge, an anatomy of critique.
I thought I would never do it because I already have two blogs, surely someone else would beat me to it, and just trying to join Facebook gave me hives. But I kept thinking about it. That my Twitter stream was filled with critiques. That the editors of my next book didn't want to put the word "criticism" in the title. That Longform.org had a perfectly nice template. So I emailed Longform's Max Linsky with my idea, and he wrote me right back.

That was June, and here we are at September, ready to go. Which review of The Help gets down to brass tacks? Is the 9/11 Memorial profound or compromised? Why haven't you all read The Group? Everything on Let's Get Critical should be well-written, its point of view clear, its language hooky.

I was encouraged that Maud Newton's recent New York Times Magazine Riff, ostensibly on the long rhetorical shadow of David Foster Wallace ended with this:
... the best way to make an argument is to make it, straightforwardly, honestly, passionately, without regard to whether people will like you afterward.
That's just what I want to read, and plan to collect. After all, I met Longform's editors when I wrote a critique of their site as including the work of too few women, to which they responded politely. Lack of women is not my problem, but there are other blind spots. In the coming weeks I am going to be looking for regular contributors. Meantime please send suggestions to [email protected] or tweet @LGCritical.

I'll be writing an occasional short column for the site (this week, "Beyonce: The Sound of Competence") but Design Observer remains the primary location for my critical writing.

Posted in: Arts + Culture, Media, Technology, Theory + Criticism

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