Friday Round-Up

There's a fascinating article at The Arts Fuse about critic Edmund Wilson, which posits Wilson as the ideal blogger:

Yet during the past decade opinionated writing about literature has grown over the Internet, from online ’zines to the ever-expanding blogosphere, where criticism takes various forms, from the sedate to the sensational. And this transformation in the cultural conversation makes Wilson’s expansive approach to his conception of the critic look prophetic. From his tell-all journals to his headstrong urge to write, along with criticism, cultural reporting, revisionist history, and social commentary, no other no other American critic in the 20th-century looks as congenial to 21st-century blogging than Edmund Wilson. Like any worthwhile blogger, he is nothing if not intensely personal. Dabney reports Isaiah Berlin’s admiring belief that his friend Wilson brought “his whole self to every word he wrote.”

The two parts can be read independently, but the first part of the same article has a lot of interesting stuff about the contrast between Wilson's prudishness as a reviewer and the hairy sex life he documented in great detail in his journals.

Some excellent writing on Stanislaw Lem, "It's hard to imagine such contemporary authors as Paul Auster, Steve Erickson, and Haruki Murakami creating their art without Lem to point the way." Also, if you've never read Bruce Sterling's take on Lem, it helps put him in context.

n+1: still crappy. I know I should give this up already, but I can't help myself.

A really excellent short short by David B Dale. The short short is so ubiquitous these days(especially on the Internet) but rarely done well, so it's nice to see someone get it right. Go read, it won't take long.

GalleyCat reports on some griping within the publishing industry which then results in mixed bag of responses. "I can tell you that my occupation does not have a bright future and working in publishing is not for the sane... I love books, but I have to say most people in America do not." One response? "TAKE YOUR WHINING ASS HOME AND START LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB."

I'd say I'd agree that merit-based publishing is a myth, but this article is far too self-aggrandizing for sympathy:

What has been interesting about the reception, now that The Child has been published, is that I have not received a single bad review. In fact, most of the reviews are ecstatic, the kind of appreciation that makes one blush. But not a single mainstream magazine or newspaper has reviewed the novel. Only the gay press and gay people writing for alternative media like the LA Weekly have acknowledged the existence of the book, and they have done so rhapsodically.

It's quite strange to live as two such different people at the same time every day. On one hand, I am someone who is creating literature that is needed, wanted, praised, and often adored by people whose representation is usually stopped by the kinds of obstacles I managed to overcome through sheer will. On the other hand, I don't exist.

I'm super awesome and I don't get the respect I deserve because THE MAN is keeping me down! WAAAH!

This is frustrating, because I know that my books have a great deal to offer that is just as valuable, or more so, than work that can access the machinery of support. I just have to hope that this horrible moment is a cyclical one, and with the forthcoming change of administration, there will also be an emotional/psychological change on the part of the gatekeepers of the culture, who will open the doors just a little bit wider, so that we can at least get back to where we were 15 years ago. And finally move forward from there.

Yeah, I really hope that the Republicans lose the White House so that your gay book will get a spread in Newsweek. Because that's why this election is important. That's what it's all about.

On a completely different note, a little late for Halloween, but here's a whole lot of stories by HP Lovecraft. Not enough for you? Here's a a motherlode of other free online writing. Don't say I never did nothing for ya.