The Beauty of Blogs

April 22, 2008 by Thad McIlroy

There are perhaps few readers of this blog who also read The New York Review of Books. That would be understandable, as the current issue features reviews of the first volume of a biography of Ezra Pound, then of a 615 page book that examines just the last year of the war in Japan (1944-1945), and also a review of a book called “Ten Tortured Words: How the Founding Fathers Tried to Protect Religion in America…and What’s Happened Since” by author Stephen Mansfield.

The February 14, 2008 issue, still online, has a wonderful feature just called “Blogs”, written by Sarah Mansfield, who confesses in the first sentence of her piece: “Two years ago, I was given a dreadful idea for a book: create an anthology of blogs.” As is often the case in The New York Review of Books, the reviewer covers multiple titles, in this case ten different books concerned with blogs and what they signify.

I’ve never read a more eloquent or revealing article about blogs: where they originated, what they signify, how they impact other media, and where they’re headed.

Her concluding paragraph gives a sense of the tone of the review: “Blog writing is id writing—grandiose, dreamy, private, free-associative, infantile, sexy, petty, dirty. Whether bloggers tell the truth or really are who they claim to be is another matter, but WTF. They are what they write. And you can’t fake that. ;-)”

A must read!

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