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Pascall Prize for Criticism

I’m incredibly excited to be able to say that on Saturday night I was awarded the Pascall Prize for Criticism. It’s a huge honour, and needless to say I’m delighted, although in a way the really wonderful (and weirdly humbling part) has been how many people have written, tweeted or sent messages to say congratulations.

If you’d like to read my acceptance speech, it’s available on the Pascall website, as is the Judge’s Report, but since I suspect most of you won’t make it over there I’d like to say again how grateful I am to the judges, Geordie Williamson and Alison Croggon (both of whose work I admire immensely) and to the Pascall Foundation itself, for its commitment to the idea of criticism as something important and worthy of celebration. You can also read an extended interview with me over at Stephen Romei’s blog, A Pair of Ragged Claws.

I should also thank all of you, since at least part of the reason I was chosen was the work that appears on this site, work that has been shaped considerably by the generosity and intelligence of the many, many people who have taken the time to comment and engage with each other here. I’m aware things are a bit slow around here at the moment but hopefully that will change once I’ve got a couple of the things I’m working on locked away.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. That’s fantastic news, James!!

    May 21, 2012
  2. chong #

    Dear James,

    Superb news, and entirely deserved. Now you can officially swank, and swan, with that tiny crew of critical elite.

    It’s what you said here: “But it is also about being prepared to look foolish by advocating ideas or works others dismiss, or risking people’s anger by declaring the Emperor has no clothes, or just testing your ideas in the public sphere, a process which always carries the unstated risk that you might end up looking a fool.”

    As Neil Young put it: “Rock and roll means being ready to be embarrassed.”

    The judges also echo the bit about doing it in public: “Bradley’s essays and reviews are the proving-grounds for ideas that go on to shape his creative work.”

    What you were too modest to mention in your speech the judges have noted — “keen, insightful and always entertaining reviews” — your reviews are great to read partly because you do not write down at all, blog or no blog, and subtlety and nuance, and honesty, rule the day.

    May the City of Tongues wag on.

    Warm congratulations from a fan,

    May 21, 2012
  3. rivqaberger #

    Congratulations James.

    May 22, 2012

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