A Different Stripe points to this Adam Kirsch article about the Goncourt Brothers, who were the naturalist forerunner of today’s gossip columnists. I don’t entirely buy the NYRB‘s claim that the Goncourt Brothers’ journal (recently republished) represents “a masterpiece of French literature written during the era,” particularly since this comes from the people who published the book. But an excerpt can be found here and this 1937 Time article suggests that the journals, among the few Goncourt texts to make it into the 20th century, are a “racy record” and the Goncourts considered their friend Flaubert to be “a great water of time, forgetting himself in things he picks up to read, and constantly running away from the book he is writing.” Perhaps the Goncourts were among the first litbloggers.
© 2006, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.