Coming back to the blogosphere after nearly three weeks of transcontinental moving, I find that there have been deaths, births, a wedding, a rescued library, and an outed Foetry.
In other words, a lot of cybertime has zoomed by.
Plus, there have been some exciting developments: namely, The Valve and The Litblog Co-op.
The former is a group litblog headed by the redoubtable John Holbo and sponsored by the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics. Some of my favorite people are involved, and I'm looking forward to getting up to speed.
The latter is the game and grinning brainchild of Mark Sarvas, which is occupied with "Uniting the leading literary weblogs for the purpose of drawing attention to the best of contemporary fiction, authors and presses that are struggling to be noticed in a flooded marketplace." Four times a year, the 20 litbloggers involved will announce a "Read This!" recommendation to eager, thoughtful, intelligent, independent-minded readers everywhere. It was bound to happen, and I'm extremely pleased that it finally has. Dan Green answers some of Scott McLemee's questions regarding this worthy endeavor over at Inside Higher Ed.
I was also delighted to see that BookLust has officially smashed some sort of glass ceiling with her devilishly clever strip, "The Amazing Adventures of Lethem and Chabon." Here's to further installments of "Art Imitating Lit"!
Meanwhile, I've been busy playing catch-up with the Quixote and am thrilled by the intriguing discussions that have arisen. I feel very privileged to be part of such a vibrant group. (And it doesn't hurt that Cervantes cracks me up either!)
Incidentally, to add to the current thoughts on repetitive links, some of us have readers that don't really frequent other litblogs (i.e., various family members and friends), so sometimes a little linking goes a long way in spite of it being old news to the myriad pros.
I'll probably say this too often, but I'm extremely grateful for litblogs. I know that they'll continue to be a chief contributor to my sanity this year as I fumble through my days as a new teacher in my "fatherland."
The sea washes onto the beach far below my open window, and I smile at the sounds of the music coming from Carlos Vives' little dive next door ("Mi Ranchito"). I've had a rough week (two words: classroom management), but feel somehow optimistic. A fellow teacher that lives in the building has a view of the beach that widens on part of the town and includes a high-rise with "Macondo" in huge letters along the top. For after all, this is where García Márquez's mother went to school and where his parents later married. The heat can be heavy, but the rhythm of the ocean quiets troubled dreams.