Just a few highlights

A week in the blogosphere is equivalent to geological time. I haven’t bought news of items that have caught my interest for a while, but here are a few:

What do you call a group of chemists? The winning answer, with which I can’t disagree, is a "mole" of chemists. Other good suggestions are cluster, fungible, assembly, bond, nucleus, reaction and complex. Just don’t ask them how many they need to change a light bulb.

Cliques in the blogosphere.  I’ve read quite a bit over the past few weeks on this topic — the post from Write Stuff highlighted here is very readable, being by someone who was not aware of the practice until it was pointed out. Personally, I find cliquey blogs pretty common, but boring, so they don’t last long in my rss subscriptions. Individuality of expression, whether in a blog post or the comments, is what I value in my reading.

Jane Eyre via the Bronte Blog. Here is a YouTube interview with Ruth Wilson, the actress who portrayed Jane in the recent, lauded, BBC production with Toby Stephens (son of Robert Stephens and Maggie Smith– think Prime of Miss Jean Brodie) as a rather delectable Mr Rochester (even though he did not have a beard).

I blinked for a couple of days and missed the fact that the blogosphere is up in arms because Maureen O’Dowd has criticised "chick lit". A type post explaining all and opining  is here, at Buzz, Balls and Hype. Everyone is up in arms against Maureen so I will leap to her defence, as anyone who writes a book called "Are Men Necessary?" (don’t you just love that question mark?) is intriguing. I have had her book in my Amazon basket for ages, watching its progress from Amazon US-only hardback to UK hardback and now UK paperback! It is en route to me now. My more considered views of Maureen may follow upon receipt of said book, whereupon I’ll know more than just the appealing title. But her writings feature regularly on Perceval Press, the publishing website of Viggo, so I guess I am predisposed.

Before I go, I will just draw attention to a lovely post by Norm/Uriah of CrimeScraps about Andrea Camilleri.  To quote:  "Andrea Camilleri because he is an octogenarian has a library of interesting quirky characters in his life experience, and in the little cameo appearances they make in the novels we can relate to our own varied lives. Age matters." Thanks, Norm. Good man.

6 thoughts on “Just a few highlights

  1. How odd. I also posted a few remarks over at Lowebrow a couple of days ago, as you know since you commented quite sincerely, without ever (really!) having come across another post about this click/clique phenomenon. It just shows me that what often is assumed to be plagiarism can genuinely be the result of ‘something in the air’, or in this case blogosphair. And that none of us is as original and unique as we’d like to think.

  2. I don’t quite understand your meaning, Lee. I hope you aren’t suggesting I or “Write Stuff” is plagiarising you. There have been lots of posts about cliquiness over the past few weeks I’ve read on various blogs, including yours. I thought the perspective on “Write Stuff” was interesting. She had not noticed the practice before, and is writing about her heightened perceptions of it, after she read some posts about it.
    Your own post concerned your observation that the longer you blog, the more you think that blogging communities resemble high school cliques. I commented to that post in general agreement as I’d noticed it too, in some blogging “circles” (but not others).
    So where’s the plagiarism, conscious or unconscious, in any of this?

  3. A misunderstanding here, Maxine. Obviously, I expressed myself badly. All I meant is that textual coincidence does actually seem to happen, i.e. similar ideas (or wordplay!) can be expressed independently, yet all too often the cry of plagiarism is quick to be raised – not here at all, just in general, particularly in the publishing world.
    It would never occur to me to accuse someone else of plagiarising me. As Jonathan Lethem recently pointed out in his very clever Harper’s essay (link at Lowebrow), you can’t steal what is given as a gift.

  4. I would have thanked you Maxine for your nice comment concerning my “lovely post” about Andrea Camilleri, but we might be accused of being members of a cool blogospheric clique.
    Thanks anyway.

  5. Thanks, Lee, for the clarification, and apologies for any misunderstandings on my part. In my day job, the “p” word is a bit of a no-no and generally means the garlic and silver gets hauled out, so excuse me for reacting to it.
    I don’t think it is much of a coincidence, actually, my own personal interpretation, courtesy of my RSS reader, is that this topic has been floated on one blog and is being reverberated round loads of others, as so frequently happens on the linky blogosphere. But each to her or his own! No hard feelings, certainly not on my part.

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