Someone associated with a newspaper (Adele Geras at the Guardian website) finally says some reasonable stuff about bookblogs and newspaper book critics.
[In the blogosphere y]ou can write as much as you like and you are completely and utterly independent. Publishers and PR people can’t put any pressure on you. If you feel like it, you can ignore Don DeLillo and write instead about the latest SF or the latest chick-lit or the latest women’s erotica, or even about sword and sorcery for adults. You are free.
It’s like crazy talk: sword and sorcery for adults. Actually, to get crazier, this started me wondering what kind of s&s novel Don DeLillo would write.
But here she really nails the rather bogus credentials issue:
“But why should we believe the blogger?” comes the cry. “Who are they and how are they qualified to tell us what to read?” The answer is: you should believe them and trust them in exactly the same way you would a critic in a newspaper or literary journal. There will be some you admire and some you think are stupid. Some bloggers write well and some badly and so do some literary critics.
The most interesting thing about this reviewers-vs-bookbloggers flaplet (which has mostly sounded to me like the Titanic whining about icebergs as it bubbles out of sight) has been that some critics seem to view themselves as something other than people who write about stuff and whose assertions rest on the evidence and argument they bring in support of their positions. If so, maybe the flaplet will rouze these Laputan critics to the consensus reality that surrounds them.
[The link to AG’s post viffled from John Scalzi at the Ficlets blog.]