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June 20, 2005

Another Signpost on the Blog-path to Assimilation

by Ron Hogan

A few months ago, when I was chatting with the Village Voice about this whole bookblogging thing, I suggested that one of these days, Holtzbrinck or Bertelsmann would get hip and pay some junior editor or publicist to start blogging about their books--and, I added, as long as it was all up front, it wouldn't be any big deal. (I was thinking of a bloggy version of the original BoldType, back when it was a smartly written promotional site for Random House.) Leave it to the independent publishers to get there first, though; I recently found out about Continuum's in-house blog for its 33-1/3 series, which collates all the news about these novella-length exegeses on rock's most essential records, from press clippings to event announcements. And now Anne Ishii is using the blog for Japanese pop specialists Vertical to produce the "Finger in the Throat Report," focusing on the lowlights from white men's fictional takes on Japan and their "unparalleled fascination with Asian sexuality," starting with Robert Lund's Daishi-san.

(Of course, since March, there's also been Sepulculture, but although it's written by a bright young publishing thing, it's not an officially sanctioned blog...and the whole point of Book Angst 101 was that "Mad Max Perkins" was making his own rules...though he seems to have decided to go back underground for now.)

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