Inane in the membrane.

Was just sitting here, looking at the hundreds of unread feeds in Google Reader (and this, after completely flushing it out just the other day to start fresh), trying to figure out which subscriptions to cancel.  I’ve had a love/hate thing with Critical Mass (no link; keep reading) – they, at times, offer up interesting interviews, point out new titles that interest me.  Other times – well.

As your pal the Rake understands it, members of the NBCC were asked
to participate in an "Ethics in Book Reviewing" survey.  Peep some of
the responses to the litblog-centered questions from these professional book reviewers:

Should literary blogs adhere to the same rules of
ethics, whatever the consensus may turn out to be on them, as newspaper
book-review sections?

  • I don’t know what a literary blog is.
  • Blogs seem to me nearly irrelevant, so unregulated are they.
  • kind of an irrelevant question; so far as I can tell, no ethics apply to blogs.
  • Frankly at the moment review blogs are such jokes, it doesn’t
    really matter. It’s like asking what rules apply to people’s comments
    on Amazaon (sic)
  • No, they shouldn’t. Blogs are the toilet paper of reviewing — quality varies, but none of it is worth keeping.

YPTR goes on to comment:

Do you know who litbloggers (and litblog aficionados) are, anonymous commenter?  Dedicated and passionate readers.
I understand that the general perception is that bloggers are an unruly
and unwashed horde, and it’s true that some are more wild and dirty
than others, but for the most part it’s as simple as saying that
litbloggers are readers.

Therefore, you’ve just announced, along with other likeminded
colleagues, that readers do not matter, and that, in a nutshell,
explains the trouble that you find yourself in.  Or, that is, the
trouble in which you find yourself.

Yup.  Critical Mass: there’s the door.


One Reply to “Inane in the membrane.”

  1. Funny and boring, that’s how I find the debate over professional and amateur literary critics. It’s the usual, petty fight between those that are in and those that are seeking in, a caste trying to defend its identity. The questions that, instead, I ask myself on this topic are of a more practical nature, having to do with the market of book reviewing. Is it a remunerative job for the reviewers? What is the monetary impact of reviewing on book sales? How are book reviews related to magazines advertising revenues?

    As regards those who wrote the NBCC questionnaire, they should learn that surveys are not designed to state the obvious but to investigate on hidden relations among variables observed on a heterogeneous set of individuals. You wouldn’t, for instance, administer a survey to a class of five-year olds with similar characteristics to find out whether they prefer pizza to Brussels sprouts (blah).

    Don’t get rid of the link. As it happens to everybody, those guys might have something more interesting to say tomorrow.

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