Monday, April 04, 2005

The Valve

I think it was Maud Newton, last week, who had a link to The Valve, which is a new blog.

Now The Valve, I have to say, ain't gonna do it for everyone. In fact, I am not sure it does it for me. But here's what it says about itself:

'The Valve is a literary weblog dedicated to the proposition that the function of the little magazine can follow this form. We mean to foster debate and circulation of ideas in literary studies and contiguous academic areas.'

See what I mean? This isn't going to fill every reader with wild enthusiasm, now is it?

What I think the blurb means it that The Valve is a blog which is going to try to do what most small literary magazines do: i.e., presumably, publish essays, criticism, the occasional short story, and perhaps some poetry.

Fortunately, if you read the opening article in full, or at any rate dip into it, it becomes apparent that the author, John Holbo, is an amiable sort of fellow, with at least a modicum of common sense. He has some interesting things to say about university presses -- and I used to run one once, so I have views on the subject. And he also has the virtue of at least suspecting that not all is well within academia.

For instance, he estimates that there are 30,000 academics at work in the humanities. But he points out that 'no one has a clear (or even unclear) sense of what work in the humanities presently needs approximately 30,000 hands to complete.'

So the guy is capable of rational thought. Furthermore, he, or one of his colleagues, has had the good sense to include the GOB on their blogroll, so it would be ungracious to do other than reciprocate.


Anonymous said...

Calendar check. Today is April 4, 2005, and "The Valve" post is dated April 16, 2005. Can I assume this is a "mis-post" by the system?

archer said...

I can't stand stuff like that. It aims to sivilize.

Anonymous said...

Prof. John Holbo was my Philosophy lecturer last year. He is a very friendly person who's not beneath chatting with clueless undergraduates about inane topics he has gone over a thousand times already. His lectures are also really interesting, chock full with that "common sense" GOB noted - not something you'd might expect in a Philosophy lecture.

I guess my point is that this is a brilliant man who knows what he is doing so give him a chance. It's a new thing so it probably just need some time. For one thing the front page can be organised.