Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The debate continues ...

... Adam Kirsch on The Scorn of the Literary Blog.

There is a lot of this that I agree with, particularly with regard to the falseness of a juridical model for book reviewing. Though I happen to think there are certain objective standards - having to do with inconsistencies, contradictions, amd just plain bad writing - I agree that "the whole point of a review is to set one mind against another, and see what sparks fly."
But I can't agree with this: 'The blog form, that miscellany of observations, opinions, and links, is not well-suited to writing about literature ..." What's this "blog form" business? There is hardly any one-size-fits-all blog format. And consider this very piece by Adam Kirsch. It's just about the right length for reading on a screen. It comes with hyperlinks. It's elegantly written and clearly - if not altogether convincingly - reasoned. In short, it's perfectly suited to a blog. I would suggest that, just for starters, Kirsch visit Anecdotal Evidence or Grumpy Old Bookman.

In the meantime, you can read another take here: Book Reviewers Out of Touch, Blogs Blamed. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
I certainly agree that litbloggers are among the least of print reviewers' worries - and that alienating them is among the dumber strategies. But I guess I've gone over to the dark side.

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