Maybe the sky is falling in. If it isn’t it certainly looks as if the landscape for bookish debate–and for books themselves–is changing fast. This week’s harbinger of doom was George Steiner, who complained about the current state of the English novel in a speech at the Royal Society of Literature.
The debate about the merits or otherwise of literary blogging continues. The Reading Experience weighs in on the doomsayers who think all this webby stuff is bound to debase poetry, and by implication other kinds of writing too (via Ready Steady Book): "Literature will still be literature once the gates have been torn down. It’s just that there will be fewer people claiming the authority to define its boundaries for everyone else." Meanwhile the increasingly confident (I think anyway) Dovegreyreader explains her reasons for reading in a measured but forceful post about John Carey’s What Good are the Arts? DGR also commented on the Steiner Story.
The Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year has received a lot of coverage this week, much of it of the tittering behind the hand kind. Nicolas Lezard is not amused.
Way back in the mists of last week The Times reported on the opening of The English Project, a museum dedicated to the history of the English language.
And finally, we have had a lot of traffic this week for the Stairway to Heaven. At the risk of tangling this blog and the blog on the bookshelf in a spiral of cross-linking that could lead to the collapse of the galaxy, take a look at this: A bookshelf bath.