Sunday, August 05, 2007

Is Lit-Blogging Following the old Print Dinosaur?

Interesting article by Sven Birkerts on whether or not literary blogging is really a new-new thing, or just a marketing venue for the old-old thing -- literature in print. He makes a case for the fact that the new literary paradigm, a wholly Web-based form of literature, has yet to take hold. Are litblogs simply grazing behind the dinosaurs, heading only down their paths and thus a mere camp follower of a doomed print culture?

Of course I read about it in the Web version of a print dinosaur, the Boston Globe. As book review sections that might carry such speculative articles on literature and its forms and formats are fast disappearing from print, perhaps literary reviews and articles, increasingly to be found only online, will lead the way for the new-new literature.

Nice article on Charles Simic's dual honors this week, appointment as U.S. Poet Laureate and Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award ($100,000). I figure with the Laureate salary ($35,000) and his AAP award, Simic can just about buy a small, old-fashioned print magazine and run it for a couple of months.


  1. Hi,

    Great catch.

    Take a look at

    This is the future of diffusing literature to the online masses. Certainly the internet has functioned as a great paradigm shift within the world of literature, but it may take a few years for this to become readily apparent.

    There is also
    This might be the future of reviewing books online.

    Whereas literature once spawned book clubs (which no doubt were innovative once upon a time), literature is thriving within the social networking culture of the web 2.0 movement and will continue to do so as the Advertising dollars continue to pour into websites and move away from print.

  2. Good recommendations. Goodreads looks more interesting in terms of finding and promoting good books, including one's own books. I am intrigued by the concept of Dailylit, but can't imagine reading a book in such small bites as a daily email. For people who complain their email is eating up their lives I have four words: Delete is a key. (Now go read an actual book.)

    Somehow I can't picture the reality of reading books online. I spend a lot of time here at a computer, but I do my real reading and writing offline, with books in hand and -- gasp! -- pencil and paper.

    I read in the paper today about Blurb, a new software that allows writers to publish their own books. I do think this trend is going to take off soon, leaving us all with a bewildering number of titles to wade through and try to get some information on. It will be interesting to see how it gets sorted out and if the litbloggers can move to the fore as the political bloggers have.