Mark Athitakis Talks Book Blogging

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“I think there’s a lot of thoughtful engagement with books on blogs—a lot of quick-hit riffing and expressions of enthusiasm, and I participate in some of that myself. That has its place—I wouldn’t do it if I think it didn’t—but it isn’t a replacement for the kind of considered reviewing that appears in newspapers, magazines, and the better-financed online publications. I still believe that, overall, more interesting writing about books is in the pages ofHarper’s, the New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books than in any one blog. But there’s writing about books on blogs that’s much more clever, engaged, and surprising than what you might find in a mediocre daily newspaper or most alternative weeklies. That’s why the print-versus-blog debate is frustrating and often silly; who “wins” depends entirely on the perspective from which you approach them.”

— From a guest post on the subject of literary blogs by Mark Athitakis over at Critical Mass.


Seth Fischer’s writing has twice been listed as notable in The Best American Essays and has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize by several publications, including Guernica. He was the founding Sunday editor at The Rumpus and is the current nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. He is a Dornsife PhD Fellow at USC and been awarded fellowships and residencies by Ucross, Lambda Literary, Jentel, Ragdale, and elsewhere, and he teaches at the UCLA-Extension Writer’s Program and Antioch University, where he received his MFA. More from this author →