Mabel, of Maple and a Quill, encountered a pretty savage shot across the bow aimed at book blogs and book bloggers this weekend, and fired back a salvo as polite as it is devastating in defense of what we do. I’d talk at more length about why the critic she’s responding to—and a lot of critics like him—are clearly both badly informed about the breadth of the world of book blogging, and astoundingly chauvinist in the ways they think and talk about book bloggers (“knitting circles”? Wow, and I thought no man was left alive who had been a member of a Victorian gentlemen’s club. He must think those suffragettes are outrageous). But honestly, Mabel has said it much more articulately and more stirringly than I think I can muster, so go give her essay a read.
Need more incentive? This, I think, is the heart of her piece: “As one of the leeches of literature, I feel inspired to speak. I am no literary critic, but I am an intelligent, keen, earnest, curious, and certainly legitimate member of the literary conversation, and I daresay I live in a society that is both aggressive and gentle; both analytical and emotive; both critical and appreciative; both male and female. I do not write to tear apart literature, but to learn from it, and to share my tattered thoughts, which are very much a work in progress.” Amen to that, Mabel—amen.