I’ve been following the whole fight between n+1 and The Elegant Variation and the post and comments at The Valve, and I’m not going to comment on it much — don’t worry! — but it does make me think about what it is I’m doing here. Imani has a post in which she talks about having gone through multiple identity crises as a result of following this controversy, and I know just what she means. There’s nothing like a heated argument about what blogs should do and if they are any good or not to make a blogger feel all self-conscious and uncertain.
I’m particularly torn because I’ve read a number of academically-minded bloggers who wish that book bloggers in general would be more academically-minded and write something more like literary criticism than book chat, and since I’ve been known to write academic things in my non-blogging life, this kind of comment seems directed right at me. But you know what? I don’t want to be an academic blogger, and I’m interested in writing literary criticism on this blog only when inspired to do so, and I’m not going to if I don’t feel like it. And you know what? I don’t think all book blogs have to do the same thing, or even that one particular book blog has to produce the same kind of writing day after day. And I don’t get why those who don’t like reading book chat (which I love) feel the need to criticize those who do or the blogs that produce it. There’s a mean-spiritedness in many of the comments I’ve read recently that doesn’t make any sense to me.
But I said I wouldn’t comment much on this, and I won’t (I’m getting bored of blogging about blogging and you may be too). I think I need to go read.