Litblog Roundup: End of Year Edition
It’s the end of the year, time for looking back, for bucket lists, and yes even for roundups of roundups. To put it another way, here’s a roundup of the big events of 2015 on the literary Internet. They’re in no particular order.
Good New Sites
Some say that blogging is dead but I say, saying things are dead is dead. 2015 saw the debut of a few excellent new, literary blogs. Among them are the one you’re reading right now, Real Pants, along with a new powerhouse on the scene, Literary Hub. Even the stalwart media moguls at Gawker chimed in this year with Gawker Review of Books.
I struggled to find a word to categorize the whole set of controversies that wracked the literary Internet every few months this year. Some of them were warranted, productive, democratic discussions. Others… Well, I chose the word “kerfuffle” and I hope it’s not a value judgment. As the year began, the embers were still warm from a fire that burned down the whole idea of Alt Lit. In January, there was a broad discussion on the value, meaning and parameters of free expression. Harper Lee published a “new” book, which brought about a conversation about ethics in publishing that could have been longer. Avang-garde writer Kenneth Golsmith raised an alarm when he appropriated the autopsy of Michael Brown for a performance, because many felt that he had gone too far. It wasn’t the only conversation about racially-charged appropriation this year, either. Vanessa Place’s Mammy persona was also controversial.
Ones and Zeros
For digital readers, 2015 was an exciting year. First, for anybody using the Nook reader in Europe, there was an abrupt closure of those devices’ ability to buy books. Craig Mod, a well-known, passionate advocate of digital reading finally called it quits and returned to print. His thoughts on the subject, along with others, suggest that 2015 was a year of indictment for the idea of an open Internet, but there was one glimmer of hope when the FCC decided in favor of net neutrality. Oh, and 2015 was also the year that Amazon went offline.
Best of the Whatever
It isn’t really a highlight of this year, as much as it is something that happens every year, but this year saw some lists of the best books of the century, and it’s just insane how many different ways there are to list the best books of year.
So, it was a big year, 2015. What’s the idea, conversation or trend that you remember the most from the year? Let’s hear it in the comments, and see you next year!