whither blogdom?


A GRADUALLY GRAYING book reviewer with several decades in the trenches, I’ve been nibbling at literary web sites and blogs for some time now — out of curiosity, to be sure, but also from a sense of vocational self-preservation. I’ve been trying to make my peace with the changes — and to decide once and for all if they represent an advance, a retreat, or simply the declaration of an emerging new order against which there is no point in kicking.

New, yes, and yet still deeply intertwined with the old. So far it’s clear that the blogosphere is in vital ways still predatory on print, that the daisy-chain needs the pretext of some original daisy; its genius, its essence, is manifestly supplementary. This recognition gives some credence to the many who argue for coexistence, a meshing of print culture and digital, with the latter very much spawning from the former.

But I am also paranoid enough — or maybe forward-looking enough — to imagine the day when magazines and newspapers have begun to dwindle away and the world of text has shifted dominantly to screen. Indeed, I would say we are right now at what feels like a point of vital balance, and those of us involved with literary journalism and book-reviewing live with the sense of a balance teetering.

more from Boston Globe Ideas here.