Book bloggers take a lot of crap sometimes. We’re amateurs, we’re cliquish, we don’t have the education or background to truly evaluate….you get the picture. The fact is, we are generally people who love to read and who really love to share that with other people. We like to talk about what we’ve read, and we like to read about what other people have read. We like to hang out with other people who like to read. We like to give away books and we like to win books and (perhaps most important) we buy books — a LOT of books. You would think that authors would love us, but some can be pretty disparaging. But not Frank Delaney:
9). How strong is the pulse of literary fiction, criticism and serious examination of literature in the 21st century? Who are today’s shining literary lights?
Great question! People have been saying for generations, “Oh, the novel is dead.” Well, it ain’t – nor is that wonderful American invention, creative nonfiction, nor is biography, nor is political writing. And as well as the books, the commentariat is alive and well. In fact, there’s an argument to be made that it’s healthier than ever, because we now have this wonderful new creature, the Literary Blogger. I’m a massive fan of this gorgeous animal, with all its fur and feathers – for a number of reasons. My main complaint about the general direction of literary criticism over the last century has been – and Joyce is a case in point – that it tended, in its lofty tone and often impenetrable language (not to mention occasional vendetta behavior), to be antidemocratic, to keep certain areas of literature to itself, whereas my own passion is for as many people as possible to be reading as widely as possible. The Literary Bloggers have no axes to grind, they’re not protecting their reputations, they don’t fear being sneered at by other critics, they’re reading what they want to read, writing what they want to write, and they don’t want to keep what they enjoy to themselves. They want to share. They want to expand the constituency of reading. They want to hail and applaud good writing. To my mind this is a very significant development – uneven, I grant, here and there, but, dammit, not as uneven as the generations of formal literary critics, and the blogging intention is so good and so worthy of loud vocal support that you can call it truly a new and, to my mind, incomparably welcome development in the world of reading and writing.