Daniel Green’s new venture
Dan Green runs what I consider to be one of the most thoughtful literature blogs. It’s called The Reading Experience. In 2004 he wrote about something I wrote about criticism and dissed me in a really nice way (here’s that). He knows his stuff and writes with great attention about serious, new literature. Now he is starting a journal-ish thing that HTML Giant readers should know about.
In a typically long post, he characterizes the project as “devoted to the consideration of significant works of American fiction published after 1980” and says:
I invite anyone who would like to contribute to such an undertaking–perhaps because a clearinghouse of this kind would be beneficial to both literary criticism and contemporary fiction–to contact me about posting something to this proposed journal. I would be especially interested in the following:
–Critical essays that through close reading and other analytical methods essentially make a case for the work under consideration as an important work of fiction.
–Reviews of critical books about contemporary fiction and contemporary writers, books that generally don’t get reviewed in mainstream literary publications. This might include books that do not focus exclusively on post-1980 fiction but that clearly enough encompass such fiction and help to illuminate it.
–Bibliographic essays that gather together both print and web-based criticism about a particular writer or, even more helpfully, perhaps, about a particular work.
–Interviews with a prominent writer, again perhaps focused on a specific work. These would have to be fairly expansive, taking us beyond the kind of superficial talk most often presented in newspapers and magazines.
I don’t anticipate exerting much in the way of editorial control, except to decide whether the contribution goes up in the first place, and as long as the essay is well-supported and competently written, I also don’t anticipate rejecting essays because they aren’t exactly the essays I might have written myself.
This endeavor won’t be an attempt to keep up with what’s new in American fiction. (I will, however, continue to review new fiction, especially experimental fiction, at The Reading Experience.) It will instead attempt to identify those writers–mostly, no doubt, still at work–who have produced noteworthy books and give those books the attention they deserve for the long term, not just for the current publishing season.
Dan has updated this invitation with a list of books that he’d be interested in seeing discussed. It includes some faves for some readers, I’m sure.
Someone oughta tell Dan Green about that novella list thing.