3 Comments

  1. Having hired Lizzie Skurnick, Maud Newton, Carl Zimmer, and Choire Sicha, among others, to write reviews for the Review, Tanenhaus hardly seems ignorant about the possibilities of confluence with bloggers. That he doesn’t celebrate the blogosphere in its totality merely suggests an intuitive understanding of Sturgeon’s Law. (I say intuitive because he’s never struck me as a SF fan.)

  2. I don’t think you’re in any position to declare me under the 90% threshold, Ron. I had two reviews run in the Philly Inquirer and the Los Angeles Times Book Review last weekend. I didn’t see YOU in any newspapers last weekend and I’m certainly not lobbing arrows your way (nor would I).

    Your argument is disingenuous. Lizzie and Carl came under Chip McGrath’s watch, and Carl Zimmer was more known as a freelancer than a blogger when he first appeared in the NYTBR’s pages in 2000.

    Choire? Also, pre-Tanenhaus. (2/04, 4/04, and 8/04, with one additional appearance in 4/05. Maybe you might want to do a NYTBR back issue search before laying down your claims.)

    Maud has appeared only once — in 2005. And it’s been Newsday, the Boston Globe and the WaPo who have been more interested in her reviewing skills than the NYTBR.

    So using your examples, we see perhaps four or five reviews TOTAL over three years, less column inches than Alford.

    Compare this with the Washington Post, the LA Times, the SF Chronicle, and the Philly Inquirer over the past three years — and this is not so much elitism on Tanenhaus’s part, but profound ignorance about potential reviewing voices he might be able to cultivate.

  3. “I don’t think you’re in any position to declare me under the 90% threshold, Ron.”

    Such was certainly not my intent–I only suggested that Tanenhaus had an intuitive understanding of Sturgeon’s Law, not that he was implementing it with 100% accuracy. And, of course, tastes in literary criticism are subjective. But nice job setting the timeline straight.

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