The trouble with blogging, RJN, is narrative structure. Or maybe voice. Or maybe diction. Or maybe syntax. Or maybe I just don’t have a clue about the deep configuration of the blog entry as a literary genre. Does anything go? Does nothing go? I’ve got this really nice little thesis¯the kind of thing that comes to one late at night, the perfect sort of little thought that always falls apart in any actual attempt to express it¯about how the novel is being turned from an Aristotelian to a Platonic art form.

My reasons for thinking this involve browsing through a number of books on the fringes of the literature: children’s books like Cornelia Funke’s new Inkspell , comedy like Jasper Fforde’s recent, The Big Over Easy and science fiction and alternate history and, well, you get the idea. Has anyone else remarked the number of new books about books¯the number of new novels in which old books are an alternate level of reality the characters visit, like walking in and out of Plato’s cave?

But that’s not what I came to talk about. I wondered, rather, whether this is a bloggable notion. Does one blog a little idea extensively? Or a big idea sketchily? Do you make a small point in numbing detail, or gesture airily at a big point? As an airy gesturer, by natural inclination and generous training in the world of opinion journalism, I hope the sketch is the right way to go. Allow me to adumbrate . . .

Articles by Joseph Bottum

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