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« Radio silence, soon over | Main | Exciting things discovered while working on footnotes »

July 17, 2012


Karen Lofstrom

I'm out here reading you. It's hard to comment on the posts re the pathetic novels you read, as I haven't read them and am unlikely to do so. I have an inexplicable fondness for 19th century didactic fiction, but a taste for Charlotte Yonge and Susan Warner is not at all the same thing as reading the truly dire material you read.

Wait. I read Cummins' The Lamplighter. That's fustian.


I have occasionally thought of commenting on posts that you have written here but have held back because I was unsure if your blog was mostly intended for your RL colleagues and if comments from elsewhere would be regarded as unwelcome or superfluous.

Matthew Maguire

I have enjoyed your blog for several years now, but am guiltily one of those who never comments. For the most part, this is due to my frustration in so many places in having to jump through many hoops to register, create new accounts, etc. in order to do so. Now that I see that Typepad makes it fairly easy with a Facebook sign in, I guess I'm without excuse. But anyway, know that you're appreciated by some of us!


I definitely read all the 'serious' blog posts closely; I find them all interesting, but, I think you've more or less hit the nail on the head. Like other people, I don't usually have a great deal to say about novels I've not read. And you're right that it does feel a bit more awkward being snarky or making a very slight comment below a post that obviously took some work.


I also read but rarely comment. I enjoy your posts, especially the novel recaps and live-blogs because it is a different kind of bad Victorian fiction than I work on. However, I don't always have something more to say than "wow" or "I totally agree with that." Which is not much of a conversation.


And I'm as guilty of this as anyone, since I read your post, laugh at the right moments, but as an 19th Century Americanist/creative nonfictional/rhet-comp/visual studies person, I have nothing to add. I am the woe of which I speak. Maybe we do just need a "Like" button?


(If only to share our captchas: "fub guts." I don't know what they are, other than damn amusing.)

Mr Punch

I agree with Karen, even to the point of having read Wide Wide World and The Lamplighter.

Reynolds Potter

I'm a long time fan and an intermittent reader of your blog. I think something happened in the interwebs that pushed your blog off my radar. B-u-t I corrected that a few months ago and now get your blog + 3 others delivered to my iGoogle homepage as they are issued. iGoogle recently sent out a message that was too long to spend time on, but next yr they're stopping that. At that time I'll figure out again how to make your writings arrive automatically.
Btw, I've had a reasonable number of communications with you via email or Facebook. And I'm most grateful for your writings which pushed me into Dickens and Eliot + some recent novels.

Bourgeois Nerd

There is definitely something to the specialization of your longer posts that doesn't lend itself to comments. Your more scholarly posts are very good, and even often funny, but I'm so far from being able to constructively comment that I don't.

Also, and I know you have reasons for it, the lack of author interaction crimps the commenting, too, I think.


I second the need for a like button - been reading and loving the novel synopses for a while, plus love the weekly list of acquisitions.

My own field is tending towards obscure late 19C Silesian (German) fiction.


I have commented here infrequently, but wanted to give a little shout from the blogging darkness (which, I'm not at all surprised to see, has been significantly brightened up by this post!) to say that the 'can the respondent be equally "serious" in a comment that will not take five or six hours to write?' issue is one that dogs me. At times it can feel almost embarrassing to be interested by and appreciative of a piece of writing, but not have anything intelligent to say in response to it.


Hello, I am a long-time lurker on your blog and the vapidity of this comment will confirm why I never write comments here... You're quite right, and nicole puts it well too, when you've slaved over a brilliant post on a subject about which I know nothing, all I can write is 'Ooh, I enjoyed that!' or 'How interesting', which is not only boring for you but when you consider that the internets will last for ever seems a poor legacy for those readers of the future with computer chips in their heads. However, since I've started writing a blog I understand how frustrating it is to write something which is received in deafening silence.

A 'like' button does seem a good solution. And maybe you can save this post somewhere you can easily access it and remind yourself that there are lots of us out here silently enjoying and appreciating your writing.


I do comment here occasionally, but when I post a question (as I did last month, enquiring about the cover image on your edition of Robert Elsmere) I never get an answer. I'd assumed you didn't have time to check for comments or preferred not to get drawn into online conversations. But if you'd welcome more feedback then I'll try to comment more regularly.


Arnold: Actually, I didn't respond because I didn't pick the cover image, and so that was a little awkward...

BN: Yeah, I'm not always very good about dropping into the comments (as Arnold has just pointed out). So that's something I have to fix on my end, too.

Y'know, I haven't seen any "like" buttons on Typepad blogs; are there some out there?

Amateur Reader (Tom)

Although I comment infrequently, I actually link to your blog in other people's comments fairly frequently, not that I can think of an example right now. I use your work as an exemplar of What Blogs Can Do.

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