Jul 7, 2008

Critical Second Thoughts

The LA Times' Charles McNulty revisits some of his reviews over the past few years and confesses some errors of emphasis, if not quite misjudgments. Somewhat disarmingly, he admits that if anything, he has erred on the side of being too nice, and relentless blurbers have only made his effusions sting more:
In a morning skirmish with adjectives, as my review of "Curtains" at the Ahmanson Theatre was already past deadline, I concluded by saying that for all its faults, the musical has a delirious showbiz quality that's "irresistible." That final word, blurbed as it inevitably was in newspaper ads, overstated my feelings. What I meant to say was "hard to resist"--and the distinction, hairsplitting though it may sound, was a source of purgatorial torment to me.

In a related essay, the Times' Kenneth Turan reminds me why I don't miss reading him.

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