amongst books

amongst books

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best of 2012: final thoughts/rant

what the hell is the point of a best of list? to me they serve two purposes:

1) they encourage the folk on the list & show support for their work;
2) they allow others to find out about work someone feels is good.

better when the list includes notes of engagement rather than just a plain list. in a perfect world, that's what would happen.
some dislike best of lists because they think it's not nice for those that aren't included. I see that; however, in the creative world, not everyone is included in everything. that's part of the creative life. the same people who might not be on my best of list might have won an award this year, gotten grants, been invited to read, been published etc. so I don't feel guilty about not including them.

furthermore, I take issue with the idea that one shouldn't express an opinion, that there's something wrong with admitting to liking something. I despise moderation. I want to know about the work that excites people whose taste is like mine or whose opinions I trust because as a reader, a music lover, an art appreciator, knowing this makes me want to explore their choices.
Canadians as a rule have a problem with the idea of having an opinion, with feeling strongly about things, but I don't. But I'm not making these lists to stroke the egos of pals or curry favour with publishers. I'm making them because I care deeply about good works being known to others & I care about paying attention to those who create these works. Is my opinion subjective? Hell yeah. So god damn what?

Obviously I can't read every piece of writing that is published in a year or listen to every album. Anyone with any sense knows & understands that. My lists are based solely on what I have access to. It doesn’t mean I won't write about something I've enjoyed later when I discover it.
As a writer, I am happy for the literary community as a whole and the person in question when attention is paid to a particular author. It helps me as well when support is given to a writer or creator. I don't feel slighted when my own stuff isn't included on any best of lists or I don't get awards. I have no sense of entitlement. Creating art is 99.9% perspiration with a damn hard dash of disappointment. So I give encouragement where I can & I let people know when I find something I believe is worth talking about.

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