May 31, 2011



I for one will continue to check in. Your posts are interesting and further the necessary, literature-affirming conversation.


Although I love my readers, there's something about the Internet (medium is message) that exerts on the writer of a post (me included) a gravitational pull toward either the shallow or the pompous. I don't know why. It just skews the tone.

But some successfully avoid that; you have, so I hope you continue.


I was a lurker around many literary blogs for a time - but now read (and sometimes post comments on) only two, of which (obviously) yours is one. I abandoned the others because of the self-satisified tone that seems almost unavoidable in such blogs. Even though I agreed which much of what was being said I just got very sick of the constant self-congratulation that hummed beneath the surface.
A long-winded way of saying that I, too, hope you continue to post - otherwise my blog reading will be reduced to one lonely blog!


The chorus of praise has more to do with good old-fashioned sucking up than mediocrity as such (though there's probably a relationship).

ward jones

What's depressing, I find, is the discourse on Twitter, and yes, I'm talking about the mini messages related to writing. A lot about book signings, reviews, of genre, the romance, paranormal, thriller, gushed over by someone, often a publicist, or the creator. Rarely is a literary work mentioned, the closest I've seen, after weeks, was this morning. "The Confederacy of Dunces." My own novel has, thus far, has drawn interest from a lady in Venice, CA. Facebook isn't much better, though the author sites do offer opportunities. Those "likes" from followers of someone like William Trevor, or to widen scope of "literary," Gary Schteyngart, who has jotted a few words about my comments, both of which can make you feel, well, appreciated.

the fool

Nietzschian rants aside, shouldn't blogs be about discussion and discovery?


I hope you continue. You provide a sharp insight into literary issues that is found wanting on other sites.

Also, you never write. You never call. You don't tweet. I sit in the dark glow of my laptop wondering if you're still alive. This is the only way . . . I'm sorry, I'm too faklempt.


Fragile equipoise is a good description of the state of individual litblogs (or maybe just yours and mine) in 2011.

Also, I have a letter coming out next Sunday in the NYTBR on the subject of Bloom's latest... : )

Hoping all is well w/you and yours...


I come here to meet chicks. Please don't take that from me.


Am here as your wingman, K.


I come here to recharge my sanity detector.


Me, too.

Chicks dig dudes who are aware of partial sanity.

bert hirsch

i encourage you to keep posting ay whatever intervals work for you. i appreciate your thoughts, information and reflectuions about books.

thanks for all you have shared till now.

bert hirsch
new york city/buenos aires

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  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."


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