Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pulitzer Project - Rules for Discussion

Please see here for an introduction to the Pulitzer Project.

Please also read the Spoiler Alert.

I'll be posting my first book review soon, so (being a lawyer) I thought it would be a good idea to come up with some rules for participation in the comments section regarding the book reviews.

Here they are:

1. Feel Free to Express Any Opinion About Any Aspect of a Book Or Review.

My goal is to encourage open discussion about the books, almost like a college literature class, or a book club that hasn't turned into a wine and cheese and gossip session instead. (Although wine and cheese and gossip is also encouraged here -- if you need an address to send the wine and cheese to, send me an email).

So, if you think I've misinterpreted something the author wrote, tell me. If you think my analysis of the plot is all wrong, tell me. If you hated a book that I loved, feel free to say so, and tell me why. I may or may not change my mind, but I want to hear your perspective on it. Similarly, if you loved a book I hated, tell me what you loved about it. Maybe I’ll re-read it with a new perspective and love it, too. Or maybe not, but I’d love to know what made the book great for you. If you think my analysis is right on, obviously I'd love to hear that, too.

You may also feel free to be provocative and play "devil’s advocate" if you like -- make a point for the "other side" just for the sake of argument.

(If this all sounds like too much work for you, then feel free to just read the reviews for whatever you think they are worth, and move on -- although I would appreciate a quick comment to let me know if you agree, disagree, or, if you haven't read the book, whether my review makes you more or less likely to want to read it.)

2. Be Respectful.

To encourage discussion, I will demand respect for all contributors.

I was an English Lit major for only about a year and a half in college. So although at one time (20 or so years ago) I learned the basics of critical analysis of literature, I am not an expert. Most of my commenters are probably not experts, either.

If you are an expert, or even just a better literature analyst that the rest of us, tread gently. Feel free to point out why my interpretation is misguided or just plain wrong, but do it nicely. Sometimes I am reading when I am tired or distracted by kids or subway people or the television, and sometimes I am just not that bright, and so I miss something huge in the story. I want to know what I’ve missed, but I don’t want to be called names or belittled for missing it. Similarly, treat your fellow commenters with respect. Comments deemed to be disrespectful or a personal attack or otherwise in violation of these rules (or spam) may be deleted, in my sole discretion.

So far, that’s all the rules, but this is my blog and I can add more rules any time I feel like it, so you may want to check back here to see what rule you’ve violated if you find that your comment was deleted and you don’t know why.



Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting. I don't have time to read as much as I used to. My reading is mostly confined to the time I spend on the bus during my daily commute. I'll definitely follow the posts and comment as appropriate.

That damn expat said...

I am excited! And I promise to be even less of an expert than you. Not only was I never an English major, it's not even my first language.
But I'm totally playing along!

Fancy Schmancy said...

I'm in, what's the first book?