Litblog Roundup is a bi-weekly overview of topics, trends and highlights from the literary Internet. In this roundup: a massive digital archive of literary recordings, and also the question “are there too many books?”
With this post, I’m trying a new “headlines and quotes” format that I learned from the excellent Real Future roundup. Let me know whether you prefer this or the usual format, in the comments. And now, the roundup.
Is there a relationship between the quantity of books available to us, the ease with which they can be written and published, and our reading experience? At present, for example, it’s hard not to feel that we are in an era of massive overproduction.
Listen to audio-recorded readings of former Consultants in Poetry Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks and Robert Frost; Nobel Laureates Mario Vargas Llosa and Czeslaw Milosz, and renowned writers such as Ray Bradbury, Margaret Atwood, and Kurt Vonnegut read from their work at the Library of Congress.
The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature at the Library of Congress dates back to 1943, when Allen Tate was Consultant in Poetry. It contains nearly two thousand recordings—of poets and prose writers participating in literary events at the Library’s Capitol Hill campus as well as sessions at the Library’s Recording Laboratory.
See also: links to highlights on MetaFilter
The 99th annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music, awarded on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board, were announced.
The question is, has the American dream run out of road? Perhaps an exhaustion with national myths explains the recent advent of post-apocalyptic literature: from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to Colson Whitehead’s Zone One. When the dream has been blown to bits for more than a century, all that’s left is to tell bleak stories of human survival set in the wreckage of a junkyard.
It’s very difficult to go back to old stories or old novels and salvage the bones: the person who wrote those pieces is long gone, and the work feels haunted by him. There is a point where I just have to let go. Recognizing the difference between “move on” and “try again” is not an easy distinction, but I think I’m much better at clearly seeing my work than I used to be.