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Just a comment: it seems to me that blogs are the perfect remedy to the problem with literary criticism--they allow for a mixture of two styles... something like "the peer-reviewed article" and "the literary memoir." Given the institutional pressures placed on English professors, the pretensions to academic objectivity seems understandable, at least in retrospect. Understandable, but not admirable.

Now all we've got to do is get the institutions to pay attention so chumps like me can get academic-credit and eventually tenure maintaining a blog. Oh, the hypocrisy! The institutional pressure!


Novels will be written by people who have to write them, no matter the critical environment. Whether they're relevant to mass culture or not (obviously novels that aspire to art right now are not) is another question. Blogs, as a vehicle for invigorated criticism, can affect readership in ways that benefit novelists and improve the world (cue swelling violins), but artists are like weeds, roaches, bottom-feeding fish: they have been around forever (or nearly so), and will be here as long as there are people (or nearly so).

R J Keefe

I agree with Mark, that novelists don't need critics. But general readers desperately do - far more than they know.

As a man of nearly sixty, I'm saddened by the contempt with which people my age and older hold the blogosphere. Most blogs, to be sure, are of only the most limited interest, and older readers associate them with solipsism and political confrontation. A whole generation will go its grave without making use of such rich resources as The Reading Experience.

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