Simon Sellars, as a travel writer, can see the utility of Houllebecq's Platform, over at the revamped Sleepy Brain. Seems they forgot to let me know that the new site was up, but it's great to see you back, guys. Sibling site Ballardian, of course, has been pushing on steadily during the hiatus for the mothership.
Someone who was speedy in her alarums, however, is Jo Case of Australian Book Review, who has emailed to let me know they have changed their blog address and format - comments are ON. Even nicer, she's noted my remarks in the previous post and Ivor Indyk's essay will be featured online in November as part of a Web Archive section on the ABR website - I'll revisit my post accordingly at that time, because there's more goodness in that particular egg.
In the meantime, on the ABR website this month in their new ABR Critics section (link on the main page), there's a profile of esteemed academic, critic, former ABR editor and Oz litblogger Kerryn Goldsworthy, one of our most seasoned campaigners in the cause of Australian writing - and easily one of the most generous in her online incarnation. Here are just some of her remarks on reviewing (there are others in the comments to an earlier post on this site, which show you the accomplished teacher behind all this easily worn erudition):
Thoughtful and simultaneous engagement with content and context is one of my main criteria for a good review: the other is a structured argument.
I like a review that works in two ways at once, bouncing back and forth between the text and its various contexts, and at the same time working its way forward in a shapely fashion towards some general conclusion about the book.
I don't much like rough play or over-the-top cattiness and spattiness: if one must put the boot in, one should attempt to do so with quiet elegance.
Read her elegant and shapely review of Andrew McGahan's new novel in the October issue of ABR, and see practice made perfect, people.