Btb-front
Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

COLLECTED ESSAYS ON LITERATURE AND CRITICISM:

EFN2

EXPERIMENTAL FICTION NOW


  • A survey of current writers whose work might be called "experimental." Includes a prefatory discussion defining terms, as well as essays on David Foster Wallace, George Saunders, Gary Lutz, Ben Marcus, Mark Danielewski, John Keene, Shelley Jackson, Steve Tomasula, more than a dozen others.
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Iww

INNOVATIVE WOMEN WRITERS


  • "I offer here no overarching theory about the nature or direction of innovative writing by women writers, although as I do note in several of the essays in the first section, there is a recognizable affinity among numerous current writers for what I am here calling 'fabulation.'" Includes essays on Rikki Ducornet, Aimee Bender, Noy Holland, Helen DeWitt, Eimear McBride, more than a dozen others.
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APF (2)

AMERICAN POSTMODERN FICTION


  • "Although the term has come to identify a general attitude toward traditional intellectual assumptions or, more specifically, discernibly related practices in philosophy, the social sciences, and all of the arts, "postmodern" was originally a critical label attached to an emergent group of American fiction writers perceived to be challenging established literary convention."
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Realisms

REALISMS

BSS

BETWEEN SILLINESS AND SATIRE:BLACK HUMOR FICTION


  • In the early to mid 1960s, an iconoclastic mode of American fiction that came to be called "black humor" presaged the larger movement succeeding it that eventually came to be known as postmodernism. This volume looks at the essential features of black humor fiction, with essays on all the major black humorists: Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, Bruce Jay Friedman, Terry Southern, and more.
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My Post (6)

MANY WINDOWS: ON EXPERIMENTAL FICTION


  • Is a work of experimental fiction really an experiment? What was metafiction? Experimental fiction and tradition. New Romancers. Poetic structures. Fiction as performance. Varieties of experimental fiction.
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Angle

A WIDER ANGLE: AMERICAN FICTION AT THE PERIPHERY


  • Beyond the major publishers’ seasonal lists to out-of-the-way presses and lesser-known writers.
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« Still Inside That Book | Main | New Review »

01/27/2019

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Edward Champion

As someone who caught the tail end of the "good ol' days," in which I was (at one point) kneecapped to a mere 350 words per title for a paid review, I think Ms. Schwartz's priorities are entirely skewered. Thanks to the Internet, my Modern Library essays have allowed me the freedom to write and deeply research titles that would never get this kind of attention outside of the LRB or the NYRB (and even then, the "greatest hits," many of which have been ignored altogether, would only get assigned if these longform outlets were feeling especially generous). I've managed to answer some deeply geeky questions that would probably never have been pursued (such as the identity of the reviewer who called INVISIBLE MAN "a literary race riot," a question that, until I became curious, was unanswered for decades). Intellectual rigor and off-kilter writing style, even before the Internet, was never the secret ingredient to financial lucre. And anybody who seriously believes this and upholds this as some halcyon truth is a fool.

Lisa Hill

Yes, spot on.
Quite apart from anything else, there are now niche review sites covering not just translated fiction, classics and backlists, but also the literature that was previously always swamped by US and UK publications. My LitBlog focusses mainly on Australian and New Zealand literature; I read others that review Canadian Lit, or Women's Fiction; PoC; and the vast variety of books published on the African continent that had next to no coverage in the print media.
As you say, 'anyone who thinks the shuttering of newspaper book reviews has diminished the availability of informed criticism devoted to the purposeful consideration of books and literature just doesn't know where to look". And it's not hard to find: the worthwhile reviews aren't found at online booksellers or social media, and Google mostly ignores us because they'd rather promote commercial sites - but we all read each other and all of us provide a blogroll of other reviewers providing 'purposeful criticism'.

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AODPurdy

THE ART OF DISTURBANCE: THE NOVELS OF JAMES PURDY

Litsphere

THE LITERARY SPHERE: TAKING CRITICISM ONLINE


  • "In this volume I have included most of my substantial posts on the blog as medium, as well as literary culture online in general. . .They are presented in chronological order, from 2004 to 2019. I have chosen this arrangement because it shows the development of my thinking about online literary criticism and because it may perhaps be interesting for readers to survey the issues that arose as literary blogging itself developed. "
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Tiol

THE IDEA OF LITERATURE


  • What do we talk about when we talk about literature? This volume explores that question by, first of all, looking "inside the text" at the dynamics of reading and the tangible effects of writing. It then moves "outside the text" to consider the relevance of social context and culture to perceptions of literature, as well as the assumption it is the writer's job to "say something" of political or moral value in addition to (even as a substitute for) creating literary art.
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My Post (5)

LITERARY AESTHETICS

Lituni

LITERATURE IN THE UNIVERSITY


  • Inventing Literature. Performing Literature. Reading Literature. Theorizing Literature. Historicizing Litera- ture. Relinquishing Literature. Reclaiming Literature?
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LR

LET'S REVIEW: BOOK REVIEWING AS LITERARY CRITICISM


  • A collection of essays considering the current state of general-interest book reviewing. Topics include: negative vs. positive reviewing, gatekeeping, writers reviewing writers, and criticism in cyberspace, among others.
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