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« What Should We Call Them? | Main | Hergé: The Tintinologist »

June 20, 2007


Kirsch's column sounds more like a "How dare they" rant against the parvenus of the literary world, railing against the democratization of a medium once exclusively reserved for those with the appropriate paper credentials. He's not alone and will have to get in line with the millions who have similar opinions on everything from outsourcing their jobs to outsourcing their food to outsourcing their journalism.
Oh, the irony! He says in his concluding lines "Already there are some web publications — like Contemporary Poetry Review (, to which I occasionally contribute — that match anything in print for seriousness of purpose."
"Of course, anything that I blog on is a serious literary publication, as opposed to some other (sniff, sniff, bring me my smelling salts) horrible-person-who-panned-my-latest's reviews."

Thank you Dean for bestowing the honorific "journalist," on me. I must admit though that I do use Wikipedia quite a bit :-)

He really misses the point if he thinks only bloggers suffer from resentment! The history of "democratized" discourse in America, including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, is replete with resentment..

Exactly. As you note and Sujatha points out, what really rankles the pros is that tyros have entered the venue of public discourse and are being heard. What used to be the "last word," is no longer that. Critics now have critics and sometimes the latter make sense even if the majority of all that passes for journalism / criticism is pedestrian at best and "crap" at worst, as you said. It is all about power - in politics, journalism or any thing else. The rules are being broken. The pesky voices of the chattering masses are what the big boys (and girls) fear and they cover up their nervousness with disdain.

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