Forlagsredaktørers vurderingspraksis : skjønnsutøvelse som håndverk


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Norsk litteraturvitenskapelig tidsskrift;16(2)



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The editor as a craftsman – on aesthetical judgment as practice. In this article, we explore how quality assessment takes place in practice. Based on in-depth interviews with editors working with contemporary literature in major Norwegian publishing houses, we show how judgment may be understood in terms of a craft. We argue that as craftsmen (Sennett, 2008) these editors work with three reading strategies. Firstly, reading for a standard establishing criteria that bind and hold a material together, secondly, reading cautiously for metaphors directed towards articulating the (non-verbal, tacit) experience and thirdly, reading with a belief that is hesitant, uncertain and exploring. Thus we formulate an understanding of literary quality which both recognizes the subjective as a non-random requisite and the need for an objective basis – an understanding of how judgment and assessment is practiced



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