Scott makes the plea:
And, really, hating on us isn’t doing anything for anyone. It
doesn’t help me for obvious reasons. It doesn’t help my readers because
I suspect they’ve heard your insults and my replies before and really
don’t find them all that interesting any more, excerpt perhaps for
whatever comedic value I can wring from them. And, most importantly, it
doesn’t help you because, well, because it makes you look like some
cranky old miser who has only finally and after a long and protracted
struggle accepted the existence of email when his 18-year-old daughter
told him he really, really, really had to get a Yahoo! account or else she’d never write from UPenn.
So haters, I implore you, for all our sakes, keep it to yourselves.
And, if you can find it in you, give litblogs a sincere try for a
month, and if you still don’t like them then write a clear and reasoned
explanation why that doesn’t resort to straw men and I’ll be happy to
post it here.
Case in point (excerpt, but just barely):
Q. Does your work get reviewed/discussed much on literary blogs? If
so, how do those reviews compare with print reviews of your books?
someone may mention my books in a blog. I believe the dangers of this
indiscriminate reporting on books is that people who have no knowledge
of literature can air their views as though they were of value and may
influence readers. Critics may not always be right, of course, but at
least they have read and studied literature, the great books, and have
some outside knowledge to refer to when critiquing our work.
Q. What are your thoughts on what’s happening to critical discourse in this country’s newspapers?
I’m appalled that the review pages are being cut. It means that books
are no longer to be taken seriously. What will happen to our children
and our children’s children without this essential means of getting to
know others and themselves?
I, for one, am particularly concerned not only for the children, but in particular the children of bloggers, who will both be deprived of the wisdom of the newspaper but stuck in the basement with their unwashed father(s), waiting their turn for the internets. Lord help us, we’re on an escalator straight to hell!
I have to say that I’m not very much interested in reading books by someone with such an incredibly narrow worldview. Furthermore, as it is early and I have yet to have any coffee, I’d like to be codgerly myself and point out that, despite Skloot’s defense of the interview, the NBCC should have known better than to run this one, if they have any interest in supporting lit-blogs. She-who-shall-not-be-named (see? no coffee) has nothing to contribute via this interview except this blog attack (on a blog, as others have noted), and the question could not have really been posed innocently. Editorial decisions not to run a piece don’t necessarily equal censorship, and that’s a big word to hide under.