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Are critics toast?

Are critics toast? In this Sunday's Guardian, there's an interesting string of responses from critics of various genres – books, movies, theater – who were asked to write about the blogosphere. What do they think? Are blogs threatening, useful, democratic, or pointless?

The range of responses is interesting and even amusing. They run from critics who embrace the bloggers as an energizing force to those who dismiss them as uninformed and insufficiently literate. (A couple of older and more honest critics simply expressed the hope that blogs will not cause them to lose their jobs before they are ready to go.)

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Love them or hate them, however, at least one thing is incontestable: The bloggers are changing the world. They may not replace the critics but they will challenge them. Whether they will empower or diminish remains to be seen.