Britain's first book blogger (November 2000)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"I just can't blog about that crap any more!"

The main reason I write - this and everything else - is to have done with it. If I write something, I can forget for a while. Trouble is, the spikes that provoke the need for the soothing act of writing have multiplied of late. Instead of writing a response I daydream about floating off in the opposite direction with a serenely disengaged blog like Spurious and wood s lot or, like Ed Champion this week, turning full time to more respectable forms. (Perhaps these latter forms enable one to forget correspondingly larger things and for longer?). Then I saw this desperate post by a blogger focussing on "Internet Marketing, Social Media & Software Development":
I just can't blog about that crap any more! I have become known for being an honest blogger, and yet I have not been honest over the last four weeks and it’s started to show. This last week I have seen my subscriber numbers drop daily and it doesn’t surprise me one bit. I sit at my computer, feeling like nothing means anything anymore, staring at some pointless online video about affiliate marketing. I’m trying to write a review and all the while in my head I’m thinking "I don’t care, I really don’t give a shit, what am I doing?" and I imagine that comes through in my writing.
How I wish every such blogger would take heed of this cry. The advantage for the literary blogger is that the emotion expressed here is where literary blogging must start; if not in the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart, then with what really matters.

Today, among many other possible links, there's Lenin's Tomb's report on a secret air war and "the rolling wave of massacres" it has led to, and of course its utter lack of presence in liberal democratic consciousness (the kind of cultural amnesia Clive James doesn't seem so bothered about). This leads to news about Mark Curtis's new book Dirty Wars, "a penetrating history of the British government's sponsorship of radical Islamic terrorism, from Iran, Afghanistan and Libya to the July 7 bombings". I wonder if it will get as many reviews as the Nick Cohen and Anthony Andrews abominations did this year?

Back to literature, there's Ellis Sharp's review of Lee Rourke first book of fiction Everyday, to which Mark of RSB responds with a necessary qualification of its definition of Establishment Literary Fiction (which is his theory and nobody else's). I also want to respond to Ellis' criticisms of Aharon Appelfeld's The Age of Wonders - mainly to explain why the clichés, the "lazy" sentences he identifies or the more serious focus on the author's Zionism (about which I won't argue) are not what make his novels unique.

Next is Michael Roloff catching up on some recent Handke publications, including news of Morawische Nacht, a 500-page "prose work" forthcoming from Suhrkamp. After the last novel though, I'm not sure if I care anymore.

3 comments:

  1. Rimbaud sets an example to us all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just for the record, I've rewritten the sentence in my 'Everyday' review which alluded to Establishment Literary Fiction, and supplied a different link.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here's another review of Lee's book you might like: here.

    ReplyDelete

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