Sunday, August 04, 2013

Book reviews

Early in my career I reviewed books regularly for The New Leader magazine, with occasional contributions to The Progressive and The New Republic. Later, when I was living on Maryland's Eastern Shore, I wrote weekday capsule reviews for The Washington Post. I know something about reviewing.

Most of what I see at Amazon has little to do with what I understand about reviewing. What I see are informal opinions without context. The only thing wrong with this is that A makes them matter in the marketplace. But since they are trying to sell as many books as possible, a popularity contest makes sense.

What is going on here is exactly what Ezra Pound warned against in The ABC of Reading, that making lit "democratic" would be its downfall.

But lit hasn't fallen, it's just become harder to find. This is as optimistic as I get. And lit is pretty healthy out of the moneyed environments. World lit still exists in a way Amer lit no longer does.
posted from Bloggeroid

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