Private: Spring into summer

It’s getting up to 86 degrees today here in New York City, folks. The weekend was sunny and warm, but breezy, perfect for gardening and barbecuing, both of which I did. The nice weather has left me even more ill-equipped than I’d usually be to respond to John Holbo’s interesting thoughts about academic blogging and literary studies. Nathalie Chicha’s on her game, though.

I live in fear that one of my college professors will blunder onto this site and see how much my critical skills have devolved. The content here, if indeed it can be called content, is a far cry from the rigorous, thoroughgoing engagement with texts that my lit crit professors expected. Most of the time it doesn’t even rise to the level of a serious book review.

Overwhelming the literary posts are far too many Paris Hilton and Harry Potter links (my rationale for the throwaway celebrity book posts is the same as the Bookninja boys’). But, hey, on the bright side, you can read the site for free, and thanks to my mental illness it’s updated often.

Holbo mentions a number of sites that offer regular, sustained literary or academic discussion. There are others, excellent ones, but I don’t have time to list them all here.

A very fine example of the kind of literary criticism that’s possible in blogland appeared late last week at the LNR Books Diary.

“British fiction’s a vigorous beast at the moment,” the proprietor of that blog said, pointing to the work of Luke Sutherland, David Mitchell, Dan Rhodes and Daren King. Of these, I’ve still read only the Rhodes, but his book was one of the highlights of the last few years. At every turn, I thought, this’ll be too gimmicky, he’ll never pull this off. But he did.