Just when you thought literary culture was dead . . .
… this happens. Around the same time that the Los Angeles Times closes down its stand-alone book section, this website pops up, taking a stand for books and people who love to read. Called Lit Mob, it looks like the literary version of Pitchfork Media, with the same DIY ethic and snarky attitude.
From the About page:
This is a tough letter to write as technically you do not exist. “They” say that no one reads anymore and that you spend all of your time watching TiVo’d episodes of Dancing With the Stars, playing video games, or stealing music from your computer. If you don’t exist then neither do we, which seems rather odd as we really did write this letter and you are now in fact reading it.
And thank God for that attitude. Even though many daily newspapers are shedding their books coverages, much of it is bland and dry and more like a fourth-grade book report than the product of one person’s thinking filtered by time, passion, and an informed sensibility.
Here’s an example of a dry-as-dust review, from Sunday’s Charleston Post and Courier. It’s a review of Command of Honor: General Lucian Truscott’s Path to Victory in World War II by H. Paul Jeffers.
This is the first painful sentence in dire need of a thoughtful editor:
In a time when it is commonplace to memorialize the fleeting tenures and scant contributions of politicians by attaching their names to public edifices such as bridges, highways and buildings, it is truly startling to realize, by contrast, that some of the truly worthy heroes of the age have become so easily forgotten.
Lastly, Lit Mob is among a bevy of publications, which are themselves run by young, educated professionals who for the most part are solidly ensconced in the GenX and GenY demographic (the very people who are not supposed to be interested in reading, by the way), taking up the cause for books coverage. n+1, New Haven Review, Dark Sky Magazine (a local web-journal edited by CCP critic Kevin Murphy) and Charleston City Paper (as well as our sister publications around the country that can be found at Altweeklies.com) are adding book reviews, essays, features, etc. to their websites.
Bloggers We Love
Bridgette Redman and Lansing Theater
Drew McManus' "Neo Classical" at the Partial Observer
Marc Moss (Missoula, MT artist)
Mary Louise Schumacher's "Art City"
Other Great Sites
American Composers Orchestra
Arts & Letters Daily
Center for Arts and Culture
Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive
National Arts Journalism Program
NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater & Musical Theater
New Music Box: American Music Center
USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program
AJ BlogsAJBlogCentral | rss
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog