My kiddo only naps in the car. Despite the fact that it's negative sumthin sumthin out there (wind chill adjusted), my wife and I take turns sitting in the driveway while she snores away. No fun. Except for the fact it's good pleasure reading time. No computer to take notes, etc etc. So today it was the newly arrived n+1 for me.
I'm going to write another post soon about a few individual articles, but first of all, I am wondering about how LS fits into their "Intellectual Situation" piece on "The Blog Reflex":
The accident waiting to happen to bloggers was most visible when they turned their attention to literature and ideas. The hope had been to democratize the intellectual sphere. Freedom of the press is for those who own one. But now all you needed was a laptop and some time on your hands. The idea was especially attractive in light of the consolidation of media holdings and the destruction of intellectual life in the '80s and '90s, when people began to work longer and harder for less, available public spaces and quiet cafes dried up, and argument in the academies gave way to 'respect'.
The blogs salved this ennui and created nourishing microcommunities. Yet criticism as an art didn't survive. People might have used their blogs to post the best they could think and say. The could have posted 5,000-word critiques of their favorite books and records. Some polymath might even have shown, on-line, how an acute and well-stocked sensibility responds to the streaming world in real time. But those things didn't happen, at least not often enough. In practice, blogs reveal how much we are unwitting stenographers of hip talk and marketing speak, and how secondhand and often ugly our unconscious impulses still are. The need for speed encourages, as a willed style, the intemperate, the unconsidered, the undigested. (Not for nothing is the word blog evocative of vomit.) "So hot right now," the bloggers say. Or: "Jumped the shark." The language is supposed to mimic the way people speak on the street or the college quad, the phatic emotive growl and purr of exhibitionistic consumer satisfaction - "The Divine Comedy is SOOO GOOOD!" - or displeasure - "I shit on Dante!" So man hands on information to man.
By the end of the second paragraph, it seems clearer that the writer's not talking about us and our circle, exactly... But what do others think? (n+1 affiliated lurkers, if you still come by, encouraged to come out of the woodwork etc...)
(UPDATE: After reading Scott Kaufman's new post on all this at the Valve, and having clicked through to his links to actual "litblogs," I now can totally see n+1's point... I guess I was thinking that we are a litblog. Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case....)