News-y Bits

Posted by on Friday, May 12th, 2006

The Poetry Foundation has been busy. They conducted a study revealing that “the vast majority (90 percent) of American readers highly value poetry and believe it enriches the lives of those who read it.” Does that mean these people actively read poetry? Um, no. “Apart from brief, incidental encounters with poetry in public places, a relatively small percentage of Americans actively seek it out or consistently return to it. ” Evidently, reading poetry is a lot like eating your spinach. The study has some moderately interesting findings, nonetheless.  (I have to admit, I only read the above linked press release and the key findings. There’s only so much time in the day.)

In other news, my favorite novel of all time, the one on which I wrote three (yes, three) undergraduate papers while referencing it in a half dozen others, just got named by The New York Times as the best American novel of the past 25 years. Of course, there were 125 judges, and only 15 of them picked it.  But, yay, 15 really smart people agree with me! (There’s no chance that one of them would be Harold Bloom or else I’d have to pick a new favorite novel. I’ve always hated him, but I’ve been on an absolute war path since he published this article. Don’t confuse me, I’m no fan of Stephen King or J. K. Rowling–though no enemy either–but the last paragraph, among other choice bits, is Bloom at his absolute insidious worst. Hardly a surprise that they’re all aging white men. But he certainly has no issue with stamping his name on dozens of Bloom’s Guides for books that evidently aren’t even “worthy of praise.” The man’s obviously on the devil’s speed dial. Obviously.)

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