Books, Bikes, and Food

Reviews, Recipes, Rides… and some other things, too.

The Review Continuum

21 Comments

This post was inspired by Iris of Iris on Books‘s wonderfully thought-provoking post “On Celebrating Subjectivity”. Iris discusses the difference between “proper” reviews, for example in newspapers’ feuilletons, and what book bloggers produce. Apparently,  a discussion is going on regarding whether what a book blogger produces can ever amount to a “review”. According to one participant in this discussion, Maggie Stiefvater,

“A review is an unbiased, careful look at a book — basically it is a little academic paper. It involves an itty-bitty thesis on your opinion of the book, surrounded by tiny supporting sentences describing the strengths and weaknesses of said book.”

Part of what she’s trying to get at, as she points out later in her post is that

“…these reviews are hard to write. I recently reviewed a novel that I’m not going to tell you about for a journal I’m not going to reveal (it’s not out yet) and I have to tell you, it was hard work (unlike my quick and flippant book recommendations I post here on the blog).”

The other part – and this is, I think, where she sees the “academic” aspect of the professional review, is that professional reviews are supposed to take more of a ‘scientific distance’ from the work. Rather than it being a question of whether they liked a book or not, professional reviewers seek to assess its ‘objective’ literary qualities. This is fair enough.

BUT (you knew this was coming) I actually have a problem with Stiefvater putting a review, even a “proper” one at a respected newspaper, on an equal footing with an academic paper. If they were the same thing, we may as well give up the literature departments of Universities and hand over the task to literary critics. Let me ‘splain.

Personally, I came to book blogging in part because I have a degree in Spanish. As I mention on my About page, I felt I had all these skills that I wasn’t putting to much use, and I was missing analysing literature. Over my first year as a book blogger, I came to learn, mostly through reading other blogs, that there is a very big difference between analysing literature on an academic level and on my blog. I’d assumed from the start there’d be a difference, but I realised it’s much larger than I initially thought.
Much the same way, I believe there is a difference between a review in a literary journal and an academic study of one or several, in some cases even an author’s complete works.

What we have here, in my opinion, is something that approaches a continuum, which, for the purposes of this post, I will call the “Review Continuum.” Here’s a graphic representation (I kid you not).

Figure 1: The Review Continuum.*

Of course, as Iris rightly pointed out in her post, even academic, ‘scientific’ study is always a subjective process. (That’s why it’s debated whether fields of study like literature can actually be considered science. Personally I would prefer to call them academic scholarship, but let’s not get into that. There’s a whole other continuum of scientific method and philosophy of science lurking behind it.)

Also, I think that both book blogs and professional reviews can reach higher levels of objectivity depending on what they’re aiming at. Similarly, academic studies might be more or less objective depending on the scholar. This is why I’m talking about a continuum.

Having established the Review Continuum – I should get this patented, shouldn’t I? – as a point of departure, what is the difference between a professional review and an academic study? How does that qualitative change on the continuum manifest itself? As Stiefvater puts it, a review forms a thesis on “your opinion of the book, surrounded by tiny supporting sentences describing the strengths and weaknesses of said book.” In the following paragraphs, she then goes on to qualify the importance of her opinion, but the fact remains that a literary book reviewer, even a professional one, judges the (literary) quality of a book.

In my view, this is not the case in an academic study. Firstly, and most obviously perhaps, literary quality tends to be a precondition for most academic studies, unless you’re a scholar dedicating yourself specifically to the study of trivial printed matter. Even then, however, it’s not your raison d’être to make a judgement on the quality of a work. It is your raison d’être to dutifully and systemically analyse the work(s) you’re studying, including a comprehensive survey of previous scholarship and theorising on which you build your own thesis – which, however, is not about your opinion on the work in question -, before going on to scrutinising your thesis through careful analysis.

I can’t even begin to describe how many times I’ve explained to my former students that academic analysis is about scrutinising rather than proving your hypothesis, and this is the other crucial difference between a professional review and an academic study. Often, they’d set out with an idea, an opinion, and would then cite all the evidence they could find in its favour, disregarding all that spoke against it. But if you’re studying a subject academically – and here, the field you come from doesn’t matter at all – you need to be prepared and actually make a conscious effort to take all evidence into account, both for and against your hypothesis. And you need to make the process transparent. This is tedious, and often outright boring if you’re not nerdy enough to get excited about these things. If professional reviewers wrote their reviews like academic papers, I doubt anyone other than other academics would want to read them.

In addition, and this is less relevant to the discussion on subjectivity/objectivity, but very relevant to the distinction between literary reviews and academic studies, the latter will often go into much more depth and detail on one specific aspect of one or several works by one or several authors. I dare you to read any Ph.D. thesis in literature and disagree.

Let me sum up: Book blogs like this one, professional literary reviews in feuilletons or literary journals, and academic studies of literature sit on a Review Continuum of ascending objectivity. The crucial difference between a (professional) literary review and an academic study is that a literary review still attempts to judge the literary quality and merits of a work, while an academic study – in the ideal case – takes a bird’s eye perspective on this, developing an approach as neutral as possible** to the subject of study.

Those are my thoughts on the discussion. Now, do I think that one has more merit than the other? Well… yes. I would never dare to put my own ramblings on books up there with professional reviews or even academic studies. Hell, I do this for fun, other people do it for a LIVING and they have all my respect. They’re professionals, I’m not. What I do think is that all three “genres” of literary analysis have their own value and justification. Book blogs are often stimulating, especially if you read several discussions of the same book. They can give you an excellent idea of whether you’d enjoy a book. Professional reviews can add a pinch of thought-out analysis of the literary quality of a book, as viewed through the eyes of someone who has honed their judgment probably for years, if not decades. Finally, academic studies keep, as I said, a bird’s eye perspective on it all. Where does a particular work stand in relation to the author’s other writings? In relation to the writings of other authors? The entire genre, the epoch? Even history? This is the job of somebody who has the skills and tools to dedicate months if not years to the in-depth study of one work, author, period, etc.

And that’s my two cents on the discussion.

* I’m kidding about patenting the idea, but I do actually reserve my rights for this graph. If you want to use it, please let me know (liburuakblog[at]gmail.com), and reference this blog accordingly. Just sayin’.

** Again, especially with issues such as literary analysis, it’s difficult to stay entirely neutral. Your experiences, judgments, opinions, will cloud your analysis – but they do so to different degrees.

About these ads

Author: Bettina @ Books, Bikes, and Food

I blog about the books I read, the food I cook, and the biking I do. And some other things, too.

21 thoughts on “The Review Continuum

  1. The distinction between a review of any kind and academic papers on literature is worthwhile, especially since, as you say, academics are mostly involved with context, content, etcetera, and not so much with the quality of one book by an author. Also, the taking all evidence into account instead of citing evidence to prove your point is an important distinction. It makes me think two things: 1. it may make the claim of “objectivity” of reviews less easy to defend, because even if you cite evidence, the evidence may be selective (though academic evidence is also selective to some extent, aaaah, difficult subject!) 2. It makes me think that the whole comparison is inherently more flawed than I considered before. I was mostly annoyed in how “academic paper” was cited as making “professional reviews” more worthwhile and authorative than blogs, as if academics is the standard to judge by in all cases.. (I agree that I wouldn’t want to claim that my blog compares to professional reviews, not at all, I just dispute the claim that it is therefore not worthy of my time, or a readers time, or a word like review, or something). It may have been exactly that association that Stiefvater was going for, except that the purpose and aims of academic literature studies are not the same as professional reviews. But then, the aims of newspapers and blogs are different too. There are so many sides to this question that I simply do not know where to begin or end.

    • Oh Iris, even more food for thought! :)
      Re: 1) – of course you’re right. Academic evidence is also selective, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and argue that the better the research, the less selective it is. (I know this is quite the positivist approach. But hey, everyone needs some kind of belief system.)
      Re: 2) – I completely agree with you in that I also believe that each form of analysing literature has its own value, and that they differ in aims. If I didn’t think that I wouldn’t be writing this blog. And to deny book bloggers the use of the term “review” is outright silly in my opinion. It seems like some professional reviewers are feeling threatened and trying to protect their home turf. Their loss.

      • I think that is where we disagree. I cannot think of arts or humanities as positivist at all.

      • Oops, I hit “post” too soon. I can see how in academia you may feel more obliged to also cite evidence against your claim, but I do believe that it depends on what “kind” of reviewer you are/want to be. Some blogs I follow are truly “mini-academic-papers” more than evaluation of the book, etcetera. Other are mostly opinions. I appreciate both kinds of blogs. And I wonder if the distinction made is not in some ways artificial.

    • For some reason it won’t let me reply to your last comments Iris, not sure what’s going on there, dear WordPress?

      I fully agree with you that the distinction may be artificial. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough in my post – there are definitely overlaps! Some blogs may be very high up on the academic end of the spectrum; some academic papers may be much closer to the “opinion” end. Like a mathematical distribution that bulges in some places, though there are always outliers.
      And I’m not trying to make prescriptions or saying that blogs should stay on their end and academic studies on theirs. It’s all very fluid.

  2. In the following paragraphs, she then goes on to qualify the importance of her opinion, but the fact remains that a literary book reviewer, even a professional one, judges the (literary) quality of a book.

    In my view, this is not the case in an academic study. Firstly, and most obviously perhaps, literary quality tends to be a precondition for most academic studies, unless you’re a scholar dedicating yourself specifically to the study of trivial printed matter. Even then, however, it’s not your raison d’être to make a judgement on the quality of a work.

    This is a part of your post I keep coming back to, and before I say anything else I should clarify that I do realise it’s a small part of the wider points you’re making. But still, it gave me pause, mostly because it what you describe so different from my own approach to book blogging. First of all, I want to address the idea of “literary quality” in itself. As someone who favours reader response theory, I have trouble conceiving of a definition of “quality” that takes the reader out of the equation. I think there’s a big issue with people assuming everyone knows what quality means, that when we talk about it we’re *always* discussing the same thing, when in reality people (and this includes professionals) define it differently. Lev Grossman wrote an interesting article recently arguing that it would be useful if people overtly explained what the criteria by which they judge literature are. I’d like for that to happen too, particularly because then we’d see how just much diversity there really is.

    This is one of my fundamental assumptions about literature, and I accept we might just completely disagree on it. But even I accept, for the sake of your wider argument, that there’s consensus about what “literary quality” is, I just don’t feel comfortable with the idea that a non-academic critic will always have the primary goal of trying to judge it. My favourite kind of criticism (and this is a kind I find in blogs and professional publications both) is not usually concerned with the question “Does this book have literary quality? How should I judge it?. I’m not so much interested in determining whether a book is a good book, however you define that, as I am in using books as a point of departure to addressing wider questions about the world and what it means to be human. This is what draws me to book reviews – they’re an arena where readers, professional or not, engage with the ideas to be found in literature. I suppose the kind of review I favour can be described as a form of cultural criticism that uses books as a point of departure. And in that approach (which many of the blogs I subscribe to follow), literary quality becomes one of the least rewarding questions you can ask about a book. Of course, I’m not saying there AREN’T reviewers mostly concerned with determining quality, or that this is not a valid way to write about books. It’s just that I’m not usually all that interested in their approach.

    The second part of your statement that troubles me is the idea that books that receive academic attention are books that have literary merit, and the ones that generally don’t are “trivial printed matter”. I apologise if that’s not what you were trying to say, but even if so, this is definitely something I’ve seen people say before (I say this as someone with a background in academia myself). I won’t so much argue that academics study books WITHOUT literary merit, because as I explained before, I don’t know that I can define this and am not primarily interested in trying to do so. But I completely disagree that triviality plays a major role in what DOESN’T get studied. I once wrote a post about my belief that canon formation is a political process that explains what I’m trying to say here. If objective, measurable literary quality was the main factor behind it, then canons would be static. But they change radically over time – and I don’t even mean just the changes we have seen in the past 30 years or so, which were attempts to include women, glbtq authors or authors of colour who had been neglected due to institutionalised sexism, homophobia and racism. Even straight white dudes go in and out of fashion over time, which demonstrates even to people who don’t accept political arguments that this is not at all a static process. Sensibilities change, fashions change, and the widely accepted definition of “literary quality” and “worthy of scholarly attention” changes right along with it.

    Anyway, to actually address your main point, ultimately I’m not sure how useful I find even the idea of a continuum. I know you don’t mean it to be hierarchical, but the terms “objective” and “subjective” are so loaded that people will still perceive it that way. There ARE different approaches to writing about books, of course, but even if we accept that one predominantly takes place in academic settings, another in newspapers and yet another in personal blogs, there’s too much overlap for me to find the graphic useful.

    Having said all this, I really appreciate that you got us talking about these things. Even if we disagree, your post helped me articulate my thoughts on this whole issue.

    • When I read the post I felt that the point of distinction between academia and newspaper reviews (opposed to blogger reviews) as the latter judging literary merit is something that was worthwhile, exactly because that seems to be what Stiefvater’s comment in which she compares academic papers to “professional” reviews seems to argue for. And then the distinction between the question “is this book any good?” or “what was the context, critical reception, etcetera of this author” seems valid. However, that is contained to the kind of newspaper review that Stiefvater seems to favour and definitely not the type I usually read. I personally don’t believe literary merit can be judged “objectively”, but again, my postmodern education may come into play here. It depends on the definition of review you use when reading the text, I think. I read it based on the definition Stiefvater seems to favour, not the one I would *like* to use. I may need to revisit the blog text again..

      As for the comment re: acceptance of literary merit and trivial printed matter and it being studied in academia, I had completely missed that when reading it. I find that difficult to support, especially given the prejudice against YA, SciFi, etc as unintelligent, versus “respectable” classics and literary fiction, you so often come across in these debates.

      • Thanks again, Iris. I think I address most of your points in my super long reply to Ana below, including the YA/SciFi one. I agree there are prejudices, and I’m definitely not free of those at all, even though I’m trying to be. There are gems in everything, and I’m sure there’s a lot of intelligent, thoughtful and high-quality YA and SciFi out there. There’s no point in damning an entire genre, way too limiting :)

    • That’s a lot of thought there! Thank you :)
      I’m going to reply by parts:

      re: literary quality
      It may indeed be a strong assumption that academics “only” study things of literary quality, that what does not get studied does not have literary quality, or even to assume that there is such a thing as “quality” at all. I stand by my belief that there is, though, although it may take very different forms. This includes the canons. But on the other hand, it also includes new approaches to literature that are able to change those canons – personally (and this is an opinion, not a judgement) I think academic studies of such works might actually be more important because they help advance our understanding of literature. There’s no reason to see canons as static, although there might be some grey-haired heterosexual white men who would like them to be and look down upon anything new.
      I also think that literary quality and success are two very different things. A book may be of high literary quality but people might still hate it.
      By the way, I’m also not saying that things that don’t get studied are trivial. Indeed, what I am saying is that some scholars dedicate themselves precisely to the study of things that may be considered “trivial printed matter”! And there’s of course nothing wrong with that. Understanding those elements of literature that are labled “trivial” at any given time is also important – actually I believe it says a lot about a society. For example, I know I’m again on a slippery slope here, but a lot of people consider YA trivial (N.B.: I’m not saying that it is!! I’m sure there’s a ton of fantastic high quality YA out there!). From an academic viewpoint, it would be very interesting to study 1) why people consider YA trivial, 2) what makes YA so popular at the moment, 3) what different types of YA have in common, and what differentiates them, and a lot more things I’m sure are very worthy of academic attention.
      And finally, I love the point you make about the construction of canons being political. I totally didn’t think about that when writing the post, but you are very, very right (see the above section on old white men…).

      re: the purpose of reviews (blog or otherwise)
      As I already said above, not all blogs, professional reviews, or academic papers serve the same purposes. Generally speaking though, it seems to me that a majority of blogs and reviews do try to make a judgment, even if it’s a personalised one like “this book worked/didn’t work for me for the following reasons: a), b), c)., etc.” I think this is most often where bloggers are at (which is why I’m calling them more subjective). Professional reviews do often try to judge the literary quality of a book in a more generalised way, and academics are something like hovering observers.

      re: Subjectivity/Objectivity
      Somehow, the above has already turned into a description of how I understand the terms “subjective” and “objective”. I don’t mean them in the way they’re often emotionally charged. People somehow often associate the distinction with a high-horse judgement of someone who is postulating that subjective=bad, objective=good. This is not at all what I’m trying to say, and I should have made this much clearer in the post, I guess. Language is always so imprecise and charged with meaning (that’s why we love it, right? But I sometimes hate that about it, too) – I’m trying to use them as descriptive terms and that doesn’t seem to work very well. Also, I agree with you on the overlap, as I already said in response to Iris, there is a lot. But I still think it’s helpful to have a bit of an orientation as to where a majority of those people dedicating themselves to one thing or the other are located.

      Phew… I’m sure I missed stuff. But you really got me thinking again! I’m exhausted now.

  3. Such an interesting discussion! I too thought Steifvater’s “academic paper” comparison was off the mark, because academic papers have an altogether different purpose from helping people decide what to read, which seems to be the primary purpose of newspaper book reviews. And I think the review writer’s purpose is key to a lot of these conversations. Newspaper reviews, which are less personality-driven and idiosyncratic than blogs, might have to make more of an effort to try to represent the “typical reader” (or the typical reader of this paper) than a blogger would. But is that even possible to do? We know that the reviewer has a personal opinion, preferences, etc., but it’s so often hidden, and if the reviewer has a bias, we don’t know about it, where a blogger can wear her bias on her sleeve. Perhaps,too, that lack of individuality is precisely why a lot of people find newspaper reviews to be bland.

    As for your continuum, I might have to mull it over some more, but I have found that it’s hard to put bloggers into one category of just about about anything. There’s just so much variety among them, with some actually coming close to writing academic papers and others focusing entirely on personal response, with little explanation of why they feel that way.

    • Thank you for stopping by, Teresa! I think you clarified a lot of what I meant to say about different purposes of different “genres” of literature analysis, but evidently didn’t manage to bring across very well.

      As for the continuum, the fact that there is a wide spread among bloggers is precisely the reason why I called it a continuum rather than a categorisation. If you again think about it in terms of mathematical distributions, the spread of the blogger curve might be particularly wide in comparison to the other two, given the huge diversity of blogs? Would that make sense?

  4. I’d like to point out that there’s a reason why blog reviews, newspaper reviews, cultural publication reviews (I think Steifvater is talking about publications like the TLS, rather than regular newspaper reviews in her post and those kind of reviews are different from regular news reviews in things like the Weekend section of the Times, but I could be off) and academic writing exhibit some of the differences you notice that has nothing to do with objectivity/subjectivity. Academics often work with more resources at their fingertips (other books by the same author, books of criticism) which bloggers and even newspaper reviewers may not have available/don’t have the time or cash to explore. Academics are looking at one very specific area, which is probably (once past BA level) an area that they have reasonable knowledge about, while bloggers are often reading books in isolation (although that’s not always the case, there are lots of cool sci-fi blogs out there that have a wide knowledge of the genre) which means that even if they wanted to they would be unable to satisfy the criteria that you propose as things which increase the objectivity of academic studies. We could also talk about time – Phds are written over a longer period of time, allowing more space for research, while newspaper article and bloggers write much faster. All the differences between bloggers and academics do not stem from some kind of lack of objectivity among thewriters, some may stem from lack of the same space, time and resources that the blogger has in comparison with those available to the academic.

    And by organising sources of criticism into a heirachy of objectivity you place a value judgement on different kinds of writing, which is often created in unequal circumstances, asking one set of writing to satisfy criteria that is incredibly hard for it to satisfy due to circumstances, aligning that criteria with objectivity and then claiming this definition of objectivity as the best of all values. To me it seems like you’re partly kind of setting other writing up to fail against academic writing, instead of judging all kinds of writing against criteria which they can all be judged against fairly.

    I would prefer to see each kind of writing celebrated as a different kind of writing, which performs a specific function (with acknowledgement that there are always exceptions, where the writing is doing something different) and to see the phrase objectivity decoupled from a value judgement and returned to a description of a useful function, which can help to further literary criticism. I’d also like to see personal writing (the use of ‘I’ etc) not deemd unobjective, but rather a style which can emcompass objectivity (you can write about the I, but still be transparent about your biases for example) but I know I’m wandering away from the subject, so I’ll end this before I go off on a huge tangent.

    • Hi Jodie! Thank you also for popping over and making me think harder about the thoughts I threw out there yesterday.

      To your entire first paragraph: YES, exactly. You make a lot of points here (time, resources…) I had in mind when writing my post, but somehow they didn’t quite seem to fit in at that point.

      As for the remainder of your comment, I can definitely see where you’re coming from and how you came to read the post that way. BUT unfortunately what you’ve read is precisely what I didn’t mean to say. I really didn’t explain myself well enough, and used terms that are emotionally charged to boot. The post emerged out of annoyance with Stiefvater for putting her work on the same footing as academic work (as I said in my post, if it is we may as well get rid of Universities’ literature departments). I feel like she’s taking away ground from both bloggers and academics, and since people had the bloggers’ side pretty well covered, I wanted to focus on the academic side, so to speak in defence of academia… love it or hate it, but I think it has a reason to exist. All three fluid sections of the continuum do and should be celebrated, as you say. Again, if I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t be writing this very subjective blog! I’m not trying to set blogging up for failure by measuring the three types of review against each other, I’m just trying to introduce a slightly more fine-grained distinction. As I said, I was trying to use “subjective” and “objective” as descriptive, not judgmental or value-laden terms. I didn’t want to place academic objectivity as an ideal unattainable by bloggers at all. I just wanted to point out they’re different.

      One thing I do stand by though, and that is my opinion that a piece of academic study on which a scholar spent months or years, has more merit and deserves more recognition than a review I’ve cooked up in an hour and a half to post on my blog. I’m not sure how I could phrase this differently to make it clearer or less offensive-sounding. If I were an academic who put years of blood, sweat and tears into a PhD on, let’s say, Roberto Bolaño, and I went and told her that my post on The Savage Detectives has the same merit, I wouldn’t be surprised if that scholar became upset.
      I think what was perhaps misleading was that I didn’t make the connection with the amount of effort and resources that go into the different kinds of analysis, so that it could seem like I thought that academic “objectivity” is intrinsically more worthy than bloggery “subjectivity”. The differences that brought me to make that statement on merit are of a different nature than the subjectivity/objectivity continuum.
      As I said, I DON’T want to set different types of literature analysis up against each other. In fact, I think there are some fundamental differences that make them difficult to place them on the same level, as you rightly point out in your first paragraph.

      • It is really hard to talk about this issue, because the terms are laden with emotion and double meaning that various authorities have put upon them. Thanks for clarifying and I can see more what you meant to be read out of this post.

        I just have one little bit of your comment I’d like to talk a bit more about if that’s ok:

        ‘One thing I do stand by though, and that is my opinion that a piece of academic study on which a scholar spent months or years, has more merit and deserves more recognition than a review I’ve cooked up in an hour and a half to post on my blog.’

        I totally get where you’re coming from on this point, even though the time everyone takes to write reviews varies (but still never takes as long as a thesis, obviously), but I really, really don’t get why we would ever need to compare the two and asign merit to one over the other. What hypothetical scenario could prompt this, other than a blogger doing as you said and telling a thesis student that their review deserves more credit than a project that took a few years. And…I don’t know of anyone who has ever done that. If you do point me at them and I will boggle at them,because that is kind of odd.

        It just seems like such an artificial, unnecessary comparison to me, kind of like if someone compared a piece of romantic fiction written by famously fast author Amanda Hocking to a classic novel that had taken years to write (sorry, I know that’s not a very accurate comparison either, but it’s the best I can think of). Do we need to judge across the seperate writing disciplines, when they are so different, as you say? I don’t really get that, I guess. I understand saying ‘your thesis is excellent, well researched and thorough – everyone gather round and read it’ and I understand championing something you think has taken a lot of effort and turned out well, but I don’t get the need for personal ranking across very different forms of writing, which never really come into significant competition at all, unless someone is attacking the merit of your work/making public false claims like ‘a blog post is equal to a thesis’. We can like and respect everything right? Nothing is stopping us except our resources, including our access to academic work and time.

        I feel like your argument here has under currents of a similar one that newspapers started making when book blogging got bigger: that there somehow isn’t room for us all and that one way of writing reviews (newspaper reviews) had to be judged better in order to ‘save it’ and preserve its status, because competition was hotting up, when in fact book bloggers mostly had no notion of actively competing with newspaper reviewers. They just wanted to write about books and set their voices free, without being told they were doin it wrong. And if we don’t want to actively compete with academia, or newspaper reviews…I guess I have trouble seeing why there are so many defensive arguments being created against a competitive situation that just doesn’t exist. It sometimes feels like people are fighting with shadows.

    • “I would prefer to see each kind of writing celebrated as a different kind of writing, which performs a specific function and to see the phrase objectivity decoupled from a value judgement and returned to a description of a useful function, which can help to further literary criticism.”

      Thank you, that is what my original post was meant to say :) Of course, as always, phrased better by you.

  5. I think this is a very articulate analysis of the situation. I once had a professor say to me, “Writing a thesis is not like writing your book blog.” Why yes, thank you, I do happen to know the difference. I’m grateful that my blog does not read like a thesis or an academic paper. I wouldn’t want it to.

  6. Pingback: Thank You Muchly | Liburuak

  7. Pingback: February Round Up | Regular Rumination

  8. Pingback: For the right-brained book bloggers: a manifesto, or why I don’t call my posts “reviews.” « A Room of One's Own

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 279 other followers