Thursday, February 9, 2012

Literary Blog Hop: February 9-12

Welcome to the Literary Blog Hop hosted by The Blue Bookcase!

This monthly blog hop is open to blogs that primarily feature book reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion.

How do I know if my blog qualifies as "literary"? Literature has many definitions, but for our purposes your blog qualifies as "literary" if it focuses primarily on texts with aesthetic merit. In other words, texts that show quality not only in narrative but also in the effect of their language and structure. YA literature may fit into this category, but if your blog focuses primarily on non-literary YA, fantasy, romance, paranormal romance, or chick lit, you may prefer to join the blog hop at Crazy-for-books that is open to book blogs of all kinds.

Instructions for entering the Literary Blog Hop:

1. Grab the code for the Button.

Literary Blog Hop

2. Answer the following prompt on your blog.
(Suggestions for future prompts? Email to them us at

Here's our question this week:

In the epilogue for Fargo Rock City, Chuck Klosterman writes:

Our answer comes from Christina:

When I write a review, I almost always stress out about my overuse of the word "I." I worry that my posts are really more personal responses than intellectual reviews, and that my self-absorption comes through more clearly than the points I'm trying to make about the book. So when I read that quotation from Mr. Klosterman a few days ago, it really stuck out in my mind and made me think.

That same day Ingrid posted Why I Review, a discussion of the purpose of book blog reviewing. There are a bunch of smart comments on that post. One of them is from Ben: "Distance is critical. In reading, in intellectual matters and even if physical work, like boxing for example. Establishing proper distance is vital to not get punched in the face."

What's the ideal balance between autobiography and distance in an informal review? Obviously with academic writing distance is far more important than personal connection. But when I'm reading a blog post, I do like to learn a little about the reviewer while I'm also learning about the book and author. Then again, extremely emotional responses don't usually make great reviews. I don't really have an answer to this prompt, which is why I was so eager to post it. How do you find balance in your own review writing? What kind of autobiography-to-distance ratio do you prefer when you're reading a blog?

3. Add your link to the Linky List below.

Happy Hopping!
*PLEASE NOTE: if you do not answer the question and link back to The Blue Bookcase in a post on your blog, you will be removed from the Linky list.
"It's always been my theory that criticism is really just veiled autobiography; whenever someone writes about a piece of art, they're really just writing about themselves."
Do you agree?