Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sven Birkerts on literary blogging

This is a bit old, but I found it interesting. In late July, Sven Birkerts wrote this piece for the Boston Globe on the importance of reviewers as opposed to the growing trend of literary blogging. Predictably for someone who wrote The Gutenberg Elegies, Birkerts finds that we are losing something that makes us a culture as we turn to more dispersed communication models: a common experience. Literary criticism and book reviewing become, he thinks, similar to what Matthew Arnold identified as the best that's been thought and siad.

We've all seen this argument before, but it strikes me as germane given that our future employment more or less depends on our playing at least some role as arbitrators of what should be thought, said, and/or read.


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