Saturday, 12 February 2011

"Some people may be put off because he looks like Voldemort"

As part of the Publishing Project module we were tasked with choosing a website from a provided list - all related to the publishing world, obviously, such as book reviewers - and follow one for a week and report back to the rest of the class.

I appear to have chosen the Times Literary Supplement (  I say 'appear' because it almost seems to have happened accidently in the end.  When looking at the list my first instinct was to go for the TLS purely because I know it so well from having indexed the thing for several months in my old job.  But this struck me as being rather lazy so I thought I'd have a look at some others too.  Tin House, for instance, caught my attention ( because apparently it specialises in short stories (alas, I've not yet got that far to find out the details).  For curiosity's sake I also loaded up the TLS's page and opened a few articles that caught my eye.

One of these was by the editor, Peter Stothard, about Women writers in the world of reviewing - 'Women and men in the TLS' - and I found it very interesting.

I only indexed the TLS in 2009 and 2010 but in this limited timeframe I'm happy to say that I never found cause to complain about the male-female ratio of reviewers or authors on review - and believe me, I'm so often first in line to notice such things.  Even from the work I did on the TLS archives from the first half of the twentieth century I found a fair amount of female writers, although admittedly it was rare to find a woman reviewing a man's book, or vice versa.  Women tended to review 'appropriate' things.  But I'm talking 1910s-1940s here so what do you expect?

With today's magazines and newspapers still being flooded with stories about how much such-and-such female celebrity weighs, or what miss-pop-star said about another, it's wonderfully refreshing to open a publication where a woman is appreciated for her academic ability rather than be analysed on what she wore to lunch (*cough* Daily Mail on Kate Middleton *cough*).

Another interesting thing about Mr Stothard's article was a comment underneath about how the TLS could employ women doing postgraduate courses in English or Creative Writing.  Now there's a thought.

Today's title is for Charlie the cat - if we didn't already have six, I'd adopt him.

No comments:

Post a Comment