This Space of Writing
A renewed appreciation of the mystery and promise of writing.
What does 'literature' mean in our time? While names like Proust, Kafka and Woolf still stand for something, what that something actually is has become obscured by the claims of commerce and journalism. Perhaps a new form of attention is required. Stephen Mitchelmore began writing online in 1996 and became Britain's first book blogger soon after, developing the form so that it can respond in kind to the singular space opened by writing. Across 44 essays, he discusses among many others the novels of Richard Ford, Jeanette Winterson and Karl Ove Knausgaard, the significance for modern writers of cave paintings and the moai of Easter Island, and the enduring fallacy of 'Reality Hunger', all the while maintaining a focus on the strange nature of literary space. By listening to the echoes and resonances of writing, this book enables a unique encounter with literature that many critics habitually ignore. With an introduction by the acclaimed novelist Lars Iyer, This Space of Writing offers a renewed appreciation of the mystery and promise of writing.
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Stephen Mitchelmore has, over the years, in his blog, This Space, shown himself to be one of the acutest critics of contemporary writing anywhere. I do not always agree with him, but his work always makes me think and often helps me to understand. ~ Gabriel Josipovici, author and critic
Stephen Mitchelmore was the first literary-critical blogger, and has remained the best. His blog, This Space, ten years in existence, and commanding a wide readership, contains exquisite long-form meditations on literary fiction of the kind only the blogosphere can allow. Gathered here, Mitchemore’s essays show a cumulative power, developing a philosophy of literature in a manner that recalls Blanchot’s The Space of Literature. ~ Lars Iyer, author of Spurious and Wittgenstein Jr
It would be fulsome praise indeed to announce that This Space contains some of the very best writing in the literary blogosphere, but it would be more true to say that it contains some of the very finest writing on literature I've ever read anywhere. ~ Mark Thwaite, Head of Online at Foyles and editor of Ready Steady Book
This Space of Writing is such a lovely, luminous thing in my reading life. ~ Jen Craig, author of Panthers and the Museum of Fire
I've been an avid reader of Stephen Mitchelmore's posts on This Space for well over a decade. He not only shows us what to read, but new ways to read. His insights and analysis always leave me inspired. This new collection is a reason to celebrate. ~ Todd Colby, author of Splash State
Stephen Mitchelmore is one of the best minds of my generation and an inspiration. ~ Lee Rourke, author of The Canal
For many years, Steve Mitchelmore has been a source of both inspiration and envy: introducing me not only to new writers but also to new ways of thinking. ~ John Self, blogger at the Asylum