For tomorrow/great interviews

In class, after going over the Sasha Frere-Jones brouhaha,  we’ll discuss this:

The writer, Nitsuh Abebe, keeps a blog/tumblr you might want to check out:

Two very nicely done and interesting interviews have been posted over at My Pop Punk Scene and OCbooklove. Check ’em out.

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The Art of The Review

Don’t skip this great Publishers’ Weekly interview of our own guest visitor, Ron Charles,

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Smartest Review of the week award goes….

…to Kathryn Schultz’ “Group Think”


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VIDA statistics

The latest debate within book reviewing circles revolves around the VIDA statistics.  I haven’t wanted to post about it lest it, oh, depress you. But with spring (and spring break) coming, I think I can risk it. Dozens of articles and blog posts have spawned from these findings. Here is the most recent one I’ve read.

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Blogger jobs

I’ve been noticing these postings of late. Note that both of these are looking for people to cover news, not opine. Is blogging losing its previous role as the hub for commentary?

LA Weekly has an opening for a full-time blogger to write about the arts in Los Angeles. Candidates should be familiar with a range of the arts, including visual and performing arts, music, film, comedy, and books. The position requires the ability to write clean, energetic copy fast enough to post multiple times per day. It does not involve criticism. The arts blogger will also assign, edit and post the work of paid freelancers. Hours will vary and some weekend work is expected. This is a new position requiring a team player who will work closely with the Weekly’s web editor to build readership. Preference will be given to candidates with deep knowledge of the LA arts scene and familiarity with social media and SEO.

ReadWriteWeb, a New Zealand based and New York Times syndicated web technology news blog written by a globally distributed team, seeks a competitive, capable, fast learning, thoughtful person to write 5 news blog posts per day.  Posts will typically be between 300 and 700 words long.  Position is challenging but very rewarding.  Pay is competitive. If you think you can break news, dive deep on tech announcements quickly and write well in a virtual environment – drop us a line.

To read the original postings, go to

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Bloggers vs. Journalists

Today in class we’ll discuss two debates: high/low (art and tv) and professionals/amateurs (art criticism) and then we’ll throw in a third, bloggers/journalists. For that third debate, we’ll discuss this post by Jay Rosen, plus its many comments:

Bloggers vs. Journalists

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Is Owl Criticism So Bad? Don’t We All Do It?

Mark Athitakis has a nice response to the Charles Baxter essay I posted last week here.

I agree that Baxter privileges certain aspects of fiction–we saw this happen a bit when we discussed my review of Cookbook Collector where I write the book is more a novel of ideas than a novel of characters–a point I wrote intended to be neutral, but some of you assumed it was a critique of the book. I don’t privilege strong characters (or, as Baxter does, formal properties). Others do.

For a critic, then, it is important to be aware of one’s prejudices, one’s owls, as it were. You can be explicit or implicit about them. But critics should not negatively evaluate critics who have a different owls than theirs without being self-reflective upon one’s own owls.


Also, you shouldn’t, probably, write paragraphs like the one above. The writing is not that clear. And clarity is one of my owls. But so are ideas. So I hope that you get my idea.

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