Tag Archives: book reviews

Novel Readings 2008

One of the best features of blogging is turning out to be the record it provides of my reading experiences. 2008 doesn’t seem to have been my most rewarding year of novel reading (being on sabbatical for part of last year accounted, in part, for the greater number and variety of books I went through […]

James Wood, How Fiction Works

(Cross-posted to The Valve. Thank you to the regular Valve folks for the invitation to do some guest posting!) The dust jacket describes How Fiction Works as Wood’s “first full-length book of criticism.” Anyone led by this blurb to expect sustained analysis supported by extensive research and illustration will be disappointed, as in fact How […]

Post About Books=Lackluster Response?

In his reflections on “The Best and Worst of Intellectual Blogs 2007,” Joseph Kugelmass remarks “the consistently lackluster response to posts about books.” I’ve noticed something similar in my expeditions around the ‘blogosphere,’ on both academic sites and litblogs, regretted it and wondered why blogging, which seems ideally set up for informal but thoughtful back-and-forth […]

More on the Purpose of Criticism

Some time ago I posted some thoughts on Cynthia Ozick’s Harper’s essay “Literary Entrails” (see “Academic Criticism Criticized”). Belatedly, I notice that there was a good posting in response to it at Scott Esposito’s Conversational Reading which concludes that “Ozick’s better criticism . . . would add another reason to read, a further way to […]

Blogging Reservations

Today’s New York Sun includes a short piece by Adam Kirsh on The Scorn of the Literary Blog. Kirsh is mostly writing about the much-noted rivalry between “professional” reviewers and literary bloggers, in the context of the also much-noted decline of book sections in print journalism. I don’t have much to say about these broader […]

Wish List and Back Lists

I haven’t done much serious reading since finishing An Equal Music; I was so absorbed by that novel that I haven’t been able to settle on what to follow it with, so I’m taking a break with a little Joanna Trollope. The problem is not lack of choice, though, but a surfeit of attractive options, […]

The Occasion for Blogging

There has been a lot of public discussion recently about blogs in the context of the decline of book sections and book reviews in newspapers; much of it has consisted of attacks on literary blogs from more traditional writers and sources and defensive responses from bloggers (see, for instance, this response on The Reading Experience […]

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