The blogroll is daunting. There have been several. While in New York this blog had a long list of Canadian literary resources, whatever online readings and review sources there was (those that were actually engaging with the literature, not simply promoting a limited agenda for it it), were there. It was never long enough, and there was never any review source that I felt absolute confidence in. (What's up with that in Canada? Looking at the product of our literary imagination in the form of the traces we leave on the net is not actually very pretty. Please, someone do a thesis on Canadian public literary discourse. It's fascinating.) But I digress. The lists and blogrolls were lost long ago when the blog format changed, and the thought of building those lists again didn't appeal. And ultimately I was and am suspicious of the blogroll. Partly because I'm not sure what the purpose is. Is it about size? In terms of how many friends one has? Allies? Another way of establishing one's poetics? Or, in the case of Silliman, in terms of archiving all the ongoing blogs? The latter is useful, but Silliman has done that already.
While in New York it seemed important to provide Americans with good Canadian resources. It's probably still a useful thing to do, but what would those be? It was also useful to offer Canadians portals into US poetry scenes, and that probably still is useful, and if you check archives you'll find them. In any case, you'll note a list of blogs accumulating on the side. I see the list as an ongoing survey of the lit blog. What I'm looking for is blogs that are thinking. Not just self-promoting, but engaging with the world, literary or otherwise. What works? And I'm looking at gender too. Very much interested in seeing more women thinking in public. To think is to risk. That interests.
Moreover, as the reviewing venues of the world respond to shifting economies, it seems to me the literary blogs will do (and are doing) important work. It will likely lead to the next thing (is this the transition space?). The next space of public discourse. Perhaps there are forums we've not yet imagined to get this work done. Perhaps there are new ways of thinking and writing about writing? New ways of organizing review venues. New ways of conceiving books and texts and genres...
Where does a blog like Silliman lead? Or what is the next incarnation?
Curiouser and curiouser.