Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Round up of the buzz

Just grabbed an opportunity to fit in my weekly surf. My goodness but there's a lot of blog buzz at the moment ...

Following the continuing rage over the remarks made by John Sutherland, Fiction Bitch is posting here and here and providing some balance in the debate.

There's more bloggy navel-gazing on the issue of whether anyone reviewing a book they were sent as a freebie should publicise the fact and whether it compromises the independance of the review. Check out Kimbofo at Reading Matters, Fiction Bitch (again) and Susan Hill for some different angles on this.

For an example of what can happen if you interpret 'independance' in way that earns the disapproval of the literary citrus fruits, check out the email received recently by Susan Hill.

Dear Susan Hill

After reading your Blog about Book Review pages, I would like you to know that no book either published or written by you will in future be reviewed on our Literary Pages.

In the light of your expressed views, I am sure you will neither be surprised or distressed.

Yours etc.

Dove Grey Reader gives her reaction here.

And DCSC is back with some thought-provoking posts. Glad she's decided not to let sleeping blogs lie.

4 comments:

Shameless said...

Debi, as I just said on DoveGreyReader ... we're all in serious trouble when a literary review editor writes "neither to be surprised or distressed". Has he or she not heard of the neither-nor rule? That's what we're up against.

jta said...

We're up against more than that, Shameless. The distinction you point out is part of a canon--the educated speech of well-off people who've been to the right schools and learned the right lessons. As such it's a distinction increasingly ignored in the wild, along with the subjunctive, the accusative "whom," etc etc. We may mourn the loss, but it's happening. The dissonance in this case is clear, though, and I take your point that a "guardian" of traditional standards should better reflect those standards.

On the other hand, a twit's a twit, an ass is an ass, and what the fuck else can you expect from a twit and an ass?

Shouldn't book reviews be a matter of consensus, anyway? As in so much of life, doesn't the rule of "the more the merrier" apply here? What exactly is there to defend? Only one thing, so far as I can see: privilege.

Debi said...

Not sure about 'consensus',jta, since the whole point of reviews is they're subjective.

But certainly I go for 'more the merrier'. I can't see any logical argument AGAINST increasing diversity ...and I'm always up for an attack on privilege!

Debi said...

Tempers are flaring! Check out Kimbofo at Reading Matters for some really over-the-top responses to the issues she raised.

I've always been of the opinion that if we're talking about something this in itself has to be good. But then someone goes in and launches personal attacks ... I don't get it.

Agree or disagree - fine. But don't resort to name calling for chrissakes.