Litblog Roundup is a bi-weekly overview of topics, trends and highlights from the literary Internet.
Follow the Money
One of the most popular topics of conversation in the literary Internet recently has been a post on Salon entitled, “‘Sponsored’ by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from.” There are long threads comment threads about it on Reddit, Metafilter and The Passive Voice.
Does it help to understand the working conditions of a writer? Does it change the meaning or value of their work to know about such conditions? What was their space like? How did they use their time? A new book explores what it must have been like in Geoffrey Chaucer’s apartment, and The Spectator has a review.
Best of the Century
The BBC asked a group of critics to identify the best books written during this century. The Art of Fiction describes the list that resulted as “anglo-centric” and the Literary Saloon described it as “shockingly monoglot.” If you would like to see a list of good, non-English books published recently, Entropy’s recent list of the top 93 poetry books in translation of 2014 might be a great place to start.
The Library Is on Fire
If we’re to regard the Internet as analogous in any way to “publishing” then the Internet will need to have something like a library, so that the published work can be kept safe. Some of the first books ever printed some 500 years ago are kept safe and are still usable. Will the early Internet be around in 500 years time? If it will be available by then, it may be thanks in part to projects like the Internet Archive, which is described in detail in a recent New Yorker article.
Scholarly Book Blogs?
During a recent twitter conversation among scholars of Victorian literature, a long-standing question came up again: what is the role of blogging when it comes to the scholarly discussion of literature? In a similar vein, the Millions has an excellent overview of the active book culture on Tumblr.
Speaking of book culture on Tumblr, the post that seems to be passed around the most on there recently is the announcement of Literary Sexts Volume 2, just in time for Valentines Day.