I hyperlinked myself out of a print publication yesterday to find another interview through the library databases, in the Kenyon Review of 1998, with Richard Ford. Riveting stuff. The sweet thing was how I lifted my bottom (not diminishing fast enough despite finally conquering my fear of the stepper at the gym), from the kitchen chair over to the computer chair to chase a book reviewer's name, Kevin Rabalais, into cyberspace and into the relative solidity of RMIT's electronic library resources.
Thanks to my privileged information access as a part time student (not for much longer), I was able to enjoy this interview immediately instead of ordering Rabalais and Jennifer Levasseur's rather good looking collection of interviews, Novel Voices, from Readings. (Did I neglect to mention it hasn't been purchased by any academic libraries in Victoria? Shame, libraries, shame.)
I was moved to all this by the media rage in the blogging machine which was going on at Dan's blog during the past two weeks. Followers of the brouhaha between Dan and James Wood may be interested to know that Rabalais contributed a review of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men to The Age this weekend - and it's still up today. *Wow. (Please give me a yell if it goes down... I'm waiting for it to happen.)
Rabalais is evidently not a regular Oz reviewer - I was sufficiently impressed by the content of the Saturday Review this weekend to consider registering at The Age after I finish uni, though I don't like the way they manage their online content at all. Digital management issues aside, lit editor Jason Steger is doing a fine job, probably tightening up because of the approaching Melbourne Writers Fest; yesterday's Saturday Review bears traces of his excitement at the breadth of nominations covered in the recently announced Age Book of the Year awards. And it's infectious, especially when one considers the nominations in the poetry section which include Jill Jones' recent collection Broken/Open. (Two blogs of Jill's are in the Poetry typelist to your right, one a blog on translations of poetry, Latitudes).
Personally I'm delighted with the judges chosen to assign the nominations this time round - Jeff Sparrow, Kris Hemensley and Kerryn Goldsworthy are usefully well rounded choices in their categories (nonfiction, poetry, fiction). There are problems everywhere with these matters, I know - but here in Melbourne there seems to be a deliberate intention towards raising the eyes of Melbourne's readers from the Brown man's books towards the riches that lie within the home spaces. This seems to have been achieved without the usual middle class stuffiness, which is compelling, though there is some huffing and puffing about emotional connection with texts which smells like US news spirit. But on the whole, the excitement communicated by the judges is infectious.
Now when will we see a section in the awards for 'Electronic Publications', complete with selectors from Express Media and some online journals?? Tell me I'm greedy, that I'm dreaming...and that the mainstream papers' lit editors are reading blogs.
*Gone behind the Iron Curtain at 2.55pm Sunday.