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Craig Raine 'avoids reading his reviews'

7th July 2010

Poet and literary critic Craig Raine has claimed that he does not read reviews of his own work - despite hitting the headlines recently.

In an appraisal of Raine's debut novel Heartbreak in the London Review of Books, fellow critic Terry Eagleton suggested that calling the work a novel is comparable to describing X Factor comedy duo Jedward as serious singers.

Speaking to the Scotsman, Raine said he seeks to avoid getting caught up in criticism of his work, explaining: 'Truly, I'm completely addicted to not reading about myself. It's a very good way of staying sane.'

However, he did admit that he relies on his wife to keep him 'up to speed' about how his works are being reviewed and said he does find himself tempted to read criticism that is negative but intelligently argued.

The author also told the newspaper that he and Eagleton have 'got some previous', but the cultural significance of the Jedward insult is 'lost' on him.

Speaking immediately after the offending review last month, Raine claimed that Eagleton's opinion was biased because of their less-than-friendly relationship, adding 'no piece of writing is flawless'.

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