Review: Snark, David Denby

14 Jan

The only fun you'll have with this book...

One of the many assertions made in David Denby’s Snark is that these days the media savvy generation feel they have to know everything. Another assertion is that everyone will makes snarky comments about things they don’t really understand. Hence this review – due to David Denby’s confounding book of references to Americanisms and outdated examples, what you are about to read will be very snarky indeed.

What exactly IS a snark? The blurb says a snark is: “abuse of a particular kind – personal, low, teasing, rug-pulling, finger-pointing, snide, obvious and knowing” but is that what David Denby describes in his book? Perhaps even he doesn’t know. His book flails through descriptions of the evil soul-eating purveyor of nihilism that is “The Snark”.

Fortunately there are some interesting musings about the future of journalism but they are sandwiched between excuses for why this book had to be written and examples of snark, ranging from the high to the lowbrow, and the few examples of snark that can be excused as actually amusing.

There are so many things this book could have evolved into. It could have been a textbook on journalistic humour or a history of satire and all its lovely bedfellows which Denby happily advocates – he doesn’t mind irony, burlesque or spoof and he makes that clear from the outset.

The best part about this book is the history – it’s amusing to read about drunken Athenian symposiums wherein one raucous aristocrat mercilessly abuses another, and everyone, drunkenly laughs. It would have been great to hear more about Archilochus and Hipponax who alledgedly drove people to suicide with the ferocity of their pre-snark poetry! Perhaps a little morbid, but surely entertaining.

Against David Denby’s best advice – if you want to actually learn anything about snark, just google it.


One Response to “Review: Snark, David Denby”

  1. 3d animation January 14, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    i am satisfied with your comment you telling the truth of life and i am impress with you and your comment thank you ok

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