Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Forgive the late posting, I was re-reading parts of PARADISE LOST by the poet celebrating his 400th birthday and turning back to Ronald Johnson's poetry gloss/renovation/reinvention of that epic, RADI OS. You would do well to read them respectively.

Onwards to other matters...

The predicament of the word leads the consideration of the disturbing state of bookstores. Ron Silliman's site has tracked the tragic closure of independent bookstores throughout the country. Awful news to add to the awful news of the world in general. The loss of bookstores is lamentable for many reasons, especially since there is nothing to replace them. 'Tis true: Amazon, Alibris, and any other online book-buying service will never replace the text enclosed in book covers. Although there has been much speculation about online book-producing services superseding the print copy found on shelves of stores and bookcases, this is a forecast that will forever be predicted and never really happen. Downloading novels? Possible and luridly so. But this kind of service will always serve an ancillary function to that mastodon of material, the published Book. As many critics and pundits have mentioned, the Death of the Book has been long been prophesied and has never happened. Dear Reader, it never will, at least in your lifetime or the next four or five generations. Lest one feel comforted by the assertivess of this prediction, keep in mind that most books are shite. Seriously, computers will never become bookstores and books will never be read by computers. Books are not yet Paradise Lost; nor, for that matter, are bookstores. But let's hope the book chains go under and the mom and pop's renew their leases of life.