In the epilogue for Fargo Rock City, Chuck Klosterman writes:
"It's always been my theory that criticism is really just veiled autobiography; whenever someone writes about a piece of art, they're really just writing about themselves."Do you agree?
I don't agree with the insinuation that every criticism, review, or critique is written with the ulterior motive of talking about themselves. That's silliness.
However, even with a critical distance between function and feeling, a review is still personal. There may be no mention of 'feelings', the review or critique may indeed feel objective, it may be fair and honest, but make no mistake: it's personal. By its very nature, a review or criticism is subject to the reviewer's personality and experiences. Every opinion is. Each reading experience is unique to itself.
Even the processes of logic and literary criticism are subject to your knowledge, experiences, and preferences.
The question isn't whether there should be a balance between the personal and professional, but what is a good balance for your tastes and purposes.
I've never been one to find much enjoyment in distilling any art form until it is only an assortment of functional components. To take the magic out of art is to take the oxygen out of the air. You're left with something useless.
“Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.” ― Stephen KingFor me? There's a reason I read more book blogs than professional reviews. I like to know a bit of who you are--without that personal touch I have no real reason to trust your opinion. The technical stuff (plot, pace, character development, writing quality and enjoyability) is important, but without any personality or background about the reading experience, it tends to fall flat.
Have you found your balance? You probably know what type of reviews you like to read--are they the same style as how you try to write?