Bloggers as Literary King-Makers

Adam Kirsch, writing in Poetry, about the writer Keith Gessen:

The author had claimed recognition, the critics wanted to deny it—it was as simple and passionate as that. Inadvertently, they had exposed literature for what at bottom it really is—a power struggle.

It’s a thoughtful article. Check it out here to read more. And here, on the VQR’s blog, is Jacob Silverman’s response.

You could draw all kind of conclusions from these two mini-essays, but the thing I’m thinking about is: blog — friend or foe to the serious writer? There are quite a few well-respected, high-profile writers who blog. I’m thinking of Jennifer Weiner. And Mark Sarvas, And…um…yeah, I know, I said “quite a few” and “well-respected” and “high-profile”…um…hang on, there must be more…er…

Anyone have any suggestions?

And while the two I have referenced happen to have blogs I actually like, I’m searching here. Obviously the truly high-profile — your Philip Roths and your Maya Angelous — are way too busy, you know, creating art to blog up a storm, which brings me back to my original question now restated as: is blogging good for writers or an evil time suck and distraction from the real work. Opinions, please.

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4 Responses to Bloggers as Literary King-Makers

  1. Zepharaya says:

    All writing must be a good thing in some form, even as a form of mental effluent, blogging is at least using words. There may not be too many ’serious’ writers blogging, but how many classic writers were engaged in other ‘evil time sucks’? Orwell got the idea for room 101 from the conference room where he had to endure tedious meetings at BBC Broadcasting House. My point is…have to go, baby’s crying…

  2. nancyrawlinson says:

    Though there seems to be the implication here that your baby is an evil time suck — which I’m sure is not what you intended to say at all — good points, Z, as usual…

  3. Zac Rawlinson says:

    well someone said that the pushchair is the death of creativity, but no – you were right, I don’t see my gorgeous, wonderful son as an evil time suck – just literally had to go. In fact, he’s spurred me on to blog, perchance to write more. So it is an evil time suck, or catalyst? Finally, I usually have nothing but contempt for those types who denigrate attempts to create and blogging is just that, so fuck them and the horses they rode in on…and probably slept with.

  4. Aimi says:

    True, yes you can spend a lot of time just rearranging the pelncis. And yes, you ought to write anything just write to get things going. But I find that whenever I’m wanting to write, there’s no use in forcing it. You need space, not just physical space although that can often help but you need mind space. I need to have my mind uncluttered of life’s trivia, so ideas can find their way in and not get snarled up. I can write to order if needs be, if there’s a deadline, but something worthwhile needs a combination of mental intensity and expansiveness at the same time.

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