Around The Web: Review Culture, Milman Parry, YA and Lamda Awards 2020

Welcome back, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well—mentally and physically—amid all the coronavirus woes. This week, I spent my internet time trying to avoid the news in favour of lighter fare, so now I’ll share my findings with you!


This week’s bookish content includes some thoughts on review culture, a look at how Milman Parry changed how we thought of epic poetry, an argument for college-age young adult literature, and the list of finalists for the 2020 Lamda Literary Awards.


Against Assessment


Having worked in and studied publishing, I’ve always understood that reviewing is important. I’ve even written a few reviews myself. So when I came across Aaron Boothby’s arguments against assessment, I was intrigued. In a post for The Puritan’s Town Crier, he discusses the role of reviewing and how it relates to value and membership in literary circles.



How Milman Parry Proved Epic Poems Were Recited from Memory



You’ve perhaps heard of Homer’s Illiad or Odyssey. Nowadays, it’s a common belief that these long poems were recited from memory, but scholars once thought pre-literate peoples wouldn’t be able to compose and recite these works. Milman Parry, a Harvard professor, changed that. If you’re interested in how, check out JSTOR’s article on the subject.



College YA


I’ve seen a lot of folks worried about older teen characters or teen characters acting like adults in the past year or so. While I’ve seen many readers concerned that this aging up will leave out younger teens, a new Book Riot post from Nina Grauer argues that there’s currently an underserved age group: college-age young adults. Grauer goes on to argue why there should be more books for these readers.



Lamda Literary Finalists



And lastly, I thought I’d leave you with the list of finalists for the Lamda Literary Awards. For anyone who doesn’t know, the “Lammy’s” celebrate LGBTQ literature, so check out the list and add some books to your TBR pile!





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