Sunday, June 17, 2007

Duck! We're under attack - again (yawn)

Don't bother getting in a flap about this - we're used to this kind of attack and see it for what it is.

Here's an excerpt for your info anyway: bloggers have also brought another, less salutary influence to bear on literary culture: a powerful resentment. Often isolated and inexperienced, usually longing to break into print themselves, bloggers — even the influential bloggers who are courted by publishers — tend to consider themselves disenfranchised. As a result, they are naturally ready to see ethical violations and conspiracies everywhere in the literary world. As anyone who reads literary blogs can attest, hell hath no fury like a blogger scorned. And the scorn is reciprocated: Professional writers usually assume that those who can, do, while those who can't, blog.

In fact, despite what the bloggers themselves believe, the future of literary culture does not lie with blogs — or at least, it shouldn't. The blog form, that miscellany of observations, opinions, and links, is not well-suited to writing about literature, and it is no coincidence that there is no literary blogger with the audience and influence of the top political bloggers. For one thing, literature is not news the way politics is news — it doesn't offer multiple events every day for the blogger to comment on. For another, bitesized commentary, which is all the blog form allows, is next to useless when it comes to talking about books. Literary criticism is only worth having if it at least strives to be literary in its own right, with a scope, complexity, and authority that no blogger I know even wants to achieve. The only useful part of most book blogs, in fact, are the links to long-form essays and articles by professional writers, usually from print journals.

Of course, now that I've linked to the article, this will no doubt been seen as evidence of that last line.
I have only one response to that: 'Am I bovvered?'

Thanks to Working Words for the link.


Unknown said...

Another talking arsehole - strange phenomenon that.

Can I tell you about this great book I've just read?

Unknown said...

Maybe I shouldn't post the book reviews I've just written then!

Unknown said...

Heck, maybe I should just set fire to all me books and crawl into a hole and blow me brains out.

BTW Debi, I'm tagging you for the 'eight incredible facts' meme, which you've probably done before.

Well done on tech upgrade! Innit great?

Anonymous said...

I only read you excerpt and didn't follow the link. Just to proof the value of blogs...(winks) It is, of course, all part of some huge conspiracy which I vaguely resent - but then again I am being courted by publishers on a daily basis...ho ho!