My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: April 8, 2010

The Superstar Effect” discusses the psychology of competition (with a reference to the Hemingway/Fitzgerald rivalry).

50 Places to Find Literary Criticism Online (I link not because my site is listed at #40, yay, but because it is a book lover’s treasure trove).

The top 20 most annoying book reviewer cliches and how to use them all in one meaningless review.

Terry Teachout has an interesting list of “Ten books which influenced [his] view of the world.

The never-ending debate continues: “Good Writers. Bad Men. Does It Matter?

The Washington Post’s Michael Dirda reviews the latest Lewis Caroll biography.

It’s not that evolution gives us insight into fiction,…but that fiction gives us insight into evolution.’


6 Responses to My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: April 8, 2010

  1. Congratulations Kerry!

    And I like your lit blog things. The Book Reviewer cliches list is a good one … most of them I avoid but there are a couple in the list that I work hard to keep out because they keep popping into my heard. Tour de force is one! And, I was just talking about the “Good writers, bad men” (person, really!) issue the other day.

  2. Kerry says:


    The list of cliches is a good one. I have tried to avoid most of them, but I will have to work harder in the future. They do occasionally slip out.

    The “good writers, bad men” thing never ends because so many excellent writers are not such nice people. If they are dead, I have no qualms about reading them. If they might get royalties, then I’ll try to outlive them. Rather crude, and certainly pointless, but it is my ad hoc solution at the moment.

    Thanks so much for the comment.

  3. Crude but a fair enough rule of thumb. Of course, the trick is to know whether they are “bad” by our reckoning isn’t it? And then, how bad do they have to be to want to ignore them?

  4. Kerry says:

    Yes, that is the trick. I generally do not investigate such things, but if I happen to know that V.S. Naipaul is an ass, then I will wait to read his books. I don’t have many authors on my personal blacklist. And your question about “how bad” points up the flaw with any such system. I do not have a rigid metric for measuring people’s goodness or badness. I wouldn’t trust anyone who does. These problems demonstrate the pointlessness of my having any rule at all.

  5. Lisa Hill says:

    Congratulations, Kerry and well-deserved:)

  6. Kerry says:

    Thank you very much, Lisa.

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