Roundup

  • It’s one of those mornings when one mourns the hasty loss of early hours and one wonders why “ing” has not been used as a verb. What would be linguistic possibilities might be if you were to apply the present participle to this hypothetical verb? At any rate…
  • Mark Sarvas is now hosting a series on Saramago’s Blindness. The critic in question is Todd Hasak-Lowy, although given the considerable misery depicted within that novel, I am more intrigued by the “happy place” that Hasak-Lowy describes. Does Mr. Hasak-Lowy truly find delight in whole rooms of helpless and blind people groping at walls? Yes, one must separate prose from narrative from time to time. But in the case of Saramago, I think the twain are considerably more connected. Perhaps answers to these topics will be coming in further installments of the series.
  • If you missed out on DFW’s work in Harper’s and you don’t have a subscription, the magazine, demonstrating that it most certainly gets the Internet, has released all the essays DFW published for free. (via Blackdogred)
  • Terry Teachout has some thoughts on Dana Gioia leaving the NEA.
  • Jason Boog has joined Galleycat, and one of his more interesting questions: What Would Jack London Think About Sarah Palin?
  • Scott Timberg talks with Neal Stephenson.
  • Tod Goldberg logs the author interview from the author’s side of the fence.
  • Dan Green makes several invaluable observations about the current state of litblogs. Green writes of the corporate newspaper blogs: “These blogs have only reinforced the most reductive and stereotyped views of the litblog as a source of superficial chitchat and literary gossip. Few of the posts on these blogs explore any issue in depth or examine any particular book with even cursory specificity. There is no attempt to provoke cross-blog critical discussion, either vis-a-vis specific posts or generically–of the blogs I have named, only The Book Bench even includes a blogroll, and it is very short and limited to the usual suspects. Whatever links that are provided are to the same old mainstream media stories to which so many other blogs are also linking and which, of course, ultimately only reinforces the supposed first-order authority of the kinds of print publication hosting the blogs in question. I don’t know if I would go so far as to speculate that these newspaper and magazine-centered blogs are deliberately working to undermine the potential authority of literary blogs by creating examples demonstrating their vapidity, but the concept of the ‘litblog’ they embody surely does trivialize what literary blogs have accomplished and might still accomplish.”
  • More later. Much to do.
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