In Which I Swear to Indiscriminately Report on Books No More

Having spent a dark night of the soul dwelling on my unworthiness as a blogger to review books, I’ve decided I should raise the tone of this blog, in the hopes of someday being deemed worthy to feast at the table designated for Serious Reviewers of Literary Fiction. Hence, I’ve laid down some rules I will follow in the future:

1. Only literary historical novels (1) written in the present tense; (2) concerning the oppression of some indigenous people; or (3) featuring the empowerment of a female character will be reviewed.

2. The word “trope” will be used at some point in every review.

3. All works, except for those mentioned in #4, will be compared unfavorably to those of Virginia Woolf or Alain Robbe-Grillet.

4. Novels written by M.F.A.’s, or their friends and lovers, will be reviewed glowingly. The reviews will contain language such as “breathtakingly original” and “hauntingly luminous.”

5. Sex scenes in novels written by M.F.A.’s will be described as “startlingly erotic” and “arrestingly vivid.” Novels written by anyone else that feature sex scenes will be denounced as “bodice rippers.”

6. Comments will be disabled on the blog so as not to result in an unseemly dialogue between Reviewer and Audience. The Audience will be expected to receive my pronouncements on Literature with respectful and obedient silence.

7. This blog will be devoid of humor. Humor has no place in High Art.

8. Novels that end happily, or at least satisfactorily, or even conclusively, will be greeted with the utmost scorn.

9. Each review will contain a quotation from Jacques Derrida, such as, “The epoch of logocentrism is the moment of the global effacement of the signifier.” (No, I can’t wait either.)

10. No more cute pictures of Bozzer. Ever. But hey, at least you’re going to get Derrida.

12 thoughts on “In Which I Swear to Indiscriminately Report on Books No More”

  1. aw, cute doggie.

    I am currently laughing at your “rules”. Best of luck to you on them :p

    On another note, are you still willing to be interviewed on my blog? I think Marg wants it to be a buddy interview and likely it will be coinciding with your book being book of the month of HFF. Sound good?

  2. I knew I was getting into trouble on my own blog by admitting I’d never taken an English lit class in college. Although hey, I have read Robbe-Grillet. Maybe that counts for something.

  3. Susan Higginbotham

    Kaliana, sounds good!

    Sarah, I’m afraid I’ve never read Robbe-Grillet. But I’d better if I’m to get into shape for my new rules.

  4. Can’t you write a review as Bozzer? Didn’t Someone Famous write as his pets? 😉

    Ah, hell, I’m off to read trash, the heck with Litra-chur.

  5. K.G. Schneider

    Actually, exchange “luminous” for “numinous,” and add “brio.” I have had so much “brio” as of late the word now makes me hungry for french-bread-oh. Then there’s “limn”… boy howdie is there ever.

    Very funny post… and I say that as an MFA grad (who has yet to be luminous though has once or twice been numinous, never writes sex scenes, startling or otherwise, and thought limns grew on trees). You won one for the biblio-gipper.

  6. Susan Higginbotham

    Thanks, Nan!

    K.G., thanks for stopping by! Love your blog.

    Bozzer is concerned about this vow of mine. He may try to talk me out of it, being the lowbrow that he is.

  7. Susan, your control is commendable: as a reward I shall send you a copy of my new paperback A Little Blue Jacket to practice what you preach.
    I shall also post a photo of my mutt Freddie on my blog to make up for loss of cute Bozzer snapshots on yours. Can’t say fairer than that. (That is if I ever work out how to get photos from Picasa2 onto my blog without losing them: are there millions of my photos out there somewhere?)

  8. Susan Higginbotham

    Lucy, I’d love to see Freddie pictures, even if Bozzer does bark his way back onto my blog! I’d also like to read your novel!

  9. I was thinking of trying to write some response to that horrid woman’s anti-blogger post, but you have said it all so well that I won’t bother! Thanks! (Did you notice that she didn’t even apologize, she just said she “hadn’t meant to offend people” which is hard to believe.) I have given up reading professional book reviews (in part because of their purple prose), and get nearly all my book recommendations from blogs now. Bloggers are much more likely to say exactly what they think of a book.

  10. Susan Higginbotham

    Thanks, Becky!

    I get my book recommendations from all sorts of places–blogs, message boards, even the occasional professional reviewer. To me, the more people who talk about books, the better off we are.

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