Just thought that I’d point that out. The Campaign to Needlessly Smear Bloggers continues at the National Book Critics Circle blog. One of the organizers of the Atlanta book review protest had this to say:
Seriously, though, blogs are kind of like parasitic microorganisms which feed off of a primary host. For the sake of this discussion, the host is clearly print media. Some are the good bacteria and some are transient and viral. Or maybe I can upgrade blogs to the status of some sort of interstitial or synovial fluid, buffering the vital organs of the media (newspaper, television, radio, the Internet)? But, c’mon, if newspapers are dying, then blogs are the maggots come to feast upon their corpses.
Wow. That’s offensive. The “seriously though” would lead you to believe that what preceded it was a joke or tongue-in-cheek – sure doesn’t seem like it. The post’s main point, if I can paraphrase, is that most blogs do not produce anything original or interesting. Ugh.
A post by novelist Lee Smith says:
I would take issue with the notion that blogs will somehow replace newspaper book reviews. During a recent visit with a local book club, a group of 16 well-read, highly intelligent women, I asked how many of them had recently read a book review on a blog. The answer was, nobody! Then I asked if any of them had EVER gone to a blog to read book reviews. Again, nobody. The average reader—the average person—just doesn’t do this yet. Maybe we read reviews on Amazon, but that’s it. Readers read book reviews because they happen upon them in the newspaper.
There you go. Just by visiting this blog and others like it, you are separating yourself from the average reader, nay, the average person. I’ve yet to hear anyone say that lit blogs will replace book reviews generated by the mainstream media. Why must this be a death match in which only one form of commentary emerges to rule victorious?
Things have gotten so ridiculous over at the NBCC blog that the webmistress had to post a note that says that the views expressed on the blog are not hers nor do they represent the NBCC. And then another post at the NBCC points to data that show, like it not, that newspaper readers are migrating to the online editions in record numbers. People are getting information from their electronic interweb page viewing machines.
There has been a lot of bemoaning of the death of the Atlanta literary scene, and the truth of the matter is that it has never seemed more vibrant than it does right now. Maybe I’m just paying better attention these days. In the last month or so we’ve seen some top notch authors coming to town. As I’ve mentioned, we just had Irvine Walsh in the hood (read about it here and here); Walter Isaacson read recently from his Einstein bioghraphy; and Dave Eggers and Valentino Achak Deng were also here, just to name a few.
Here are some upcoming events in the next eight days that you may want to mark on your calendar and come out to support:
- On Thursday May 24, Michael Chabon will be reading at the Barnes and Noble on Peachtree in Buckhead.
- On Monday May 28, Khaled Hosseini will be reading at Georgia Perimeter College from his new book A Thousand Splendid Suns.
- Then on Tuesday, May 29th, Marisha Pessl will be reading from Special Topics in Calamity Physics at the Decatur Library.
I promise not to post for at least a week on the topic of being outraged by the latest ill-informed commentary deriding lit blogs. Unless it is really offensive.