Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Extinction of 'Men of Letters'

In an article in the New Statesman, DJ Taylor bemoans the fact that, "with one or two very singular exceptions, it is impossible to make a living out of [book] reviewing any more." As he mourns the death of traditional "Men of Letters," Taylor takes the typical pot shots at internet-savvy newcomers:
[H]ere in the early 21st century, the once-homogeneous entity known as "literary culture" has become horribly dispersed, blown out into cyberspace and colonised by bloggers and self-appointed savants who think their opinion of a book is just as good as the Sunday Times's.

Although I share Taylor's disappointment in the disappearance of—or, at the very least, the diminishment of—literary culture, I certainly don't agree that the "dispersal" of such culture throughout the internet is a bad thing.

1 comment:

Zibilee said...

I agree with the fact that some of the more literary outlets for book reviews are being displaced by bloggers, but I think his opinion on said bloggers is a bit elitist and inflammatory.