I love me a catfight on a cold Thursday morning. Steve Almond has written an article all about Mark Sarvas aka TEV and his hatred supposed hatred for Almond. Now, before people start jumping into the comments here and tearing me a new asshole, I am not taking sides in what is clearly a personal fight. I like Mark and his blog. I’ve met him in person and found him perfectly amiable. I’ve also met Almond, as he’s local to these parts. He’s been perfectly nice to me. Of course some are going to rally around Mark.
I do however object to Almond’s dismissal of litblogs, but praising them in an article attacking one wouldn’t have served his purpose I suppose. Not everything he says is wrong. I do read lots of other litblogs and I imagine any audience I have beyond my family is other litbloggers. So what? I like books, I work in books, I like to read about books. I disagree with the statement “few of these lit blogs actually discuss literature in a meaningful way”. I think he’s totally wrong. I read many blogs with “meaningful” discussions about literature. Sure, some days its all poking fun of an author, or hashing out some news. But some days you get in depth analysis of a book or an author. Where else should we go to talk about books? The major reviews all discuss the same books. All the major bookstores seem to be closing, so that’s out. You could take a class, but who has the money! Bookclubs I suppose are one answer. Blogs however are a great forum for this type of discussion. I’ve read some mind-opening essays and dialogues online about books. Maybe Almond is looking in the wrong places (and no, I am certainly not suggesting he look here). Where do you go to talk about books?