The Engine That Could

April 1st, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

We have a special fondness for valves (which we won’t share here), and so, upon learning of a new literary venture sporting The Valve title, we hastened over to visit. What’s it all about? Well, there’s a statement of purpose:

“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.”

We, of course, prefer John Holbo’s explanation because it was buried deep in his lengthy introductory post (which then goes for many more screens). We believe it’s worth reading if only for his inventions: Thinkr and Talknorati. Holbo’s explanation distills to this (more or less):

Dear reader, I have dreams of making the Valve a platform for bold e-publishing ventures; at least for encouraging others in these efforts. I thought about devoting this first post to an anatomy of the publishing crisis. I decided not to. For one thing, it turns out I don’t know enough about the publishing and editing biz. For another, I might produce the erroneous impression that I think a blog like this IS the magic-bullet solution, which would be silly. I do think that the solution to the problem of poor circulation of ideas (not paper) has to involve making room for something that blogs do well. There has got to be healthier conversation, keeping up the circulation of ideas regarding books and articles. Blogging isn’t scholarship, but scholarship may need blogging in quite a strong sense. This will be my conclusion.

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs