What I do want this blog to be is a research tool. Hopefully this will not turn out to be as dry as it sounds, but I am feeling less compelled to write topical posts like this about the burning issue of the moment or even an innocently irrelevant post like this on novels or volumes of verse that have little bearing on anything but turn out to be nice diversions. In short, I'm afraid Blographia Literaria has become somewhat of a hobby for me, a way of logging my recreational reading, and I'd like to put it to work.* My main research interests will hopefully be of broad enough compass that they will allow me to continue to post material interesting to you (and I think they should be), as most things I put up here will hopefully make their way to touching upon these topics: Midwestern literature and regionalism, popular or genre fiction, marxism, and war and violence in literature. (Whoops—forgot film!) I'm hoping you'll stick around to see what turns out.
Alright, for one last hurrah of the lit-bloggy Blographia Literaria 1.0, here are some links to enjoy:
- The many anti-Eggersards.
- My friend Craig's great guest-post at The Millions about the "average" or "real" reader, encountered in their native habitat—Borders.
- Also from Craig/The Millions, a nice find: a heavily annotated, browsable database of all 337 20th Century American bestsellers.
- Parts 1 and 2 of a very intelligent reading of The Aesthetics of Junk Fiction (part 3 still to come), a 1990 monograph on popular fiction by Thomas J. Roberts.
- You probably already read The Mumpsimus (you don't? why not?) but don't miss Matthew Cheney's list of his picks of the last decade of books.
- Stefan Collini (one of my favorite critics) on the 50th anniversary of the New Left Review.
- Two very interesting recent posts from Lee Konstantinou, "Reading under Neoliberalism" and "Am I Turning Empirical?" The latter in particular is quite provocative, and I'm hoping eventually to jump off with some thoughts of my own.
- From n+1 Book Review, a very good review of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy.
- An excellent post from Stephen Mitchelmore on Bernhard, Sebald, and others.
- "The first rule of Tautology Club is the first rule of Tautology Club."
- Last but not least, The Tournament of Books has started!