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Slant Books: Web Site and Blog

Perhaps you're aware of Greg Wolfe's new enterprise, Slant Books. Slant is:

a literary imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers specializing in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, essay collections, and beyond. 

Wipf and Stock, as you probably know, is a theologically-oriented publisher. You can read a bit more about both the house and the imprint here

Slant has a new web site, and a new blog called Close Reading, which is off to a very interesting start. That title phrase is one I'm fond of, and haven't heard for a long time. It was a sort of ideal or at least a highly regarded practice back when I was on the fringes of literary academia, and to me it was tied up with a more or less moral ideal of intellectual integrity. I'm a little surprised that it's survived, since the kind of close reading I hear of these days often seems to be more along the lines of the "interrogation" practiced by post-modernists, for which the association of the word with secret police and beatings is often far too appropriate. But here is what it means at Slant:

Close Reading is the art of paying attention to the ways that literary form and meaning interact. In our politicized era, when craft and vision have often been replaced by propaganda, the art of close reading reminds us that great literature deepens our respect for mystery and the divided nature of the human heart — and in so doing offers us hope for healing and reconciliation.

I'll certainly be following the blog. And as for Slant's titles, well, at this point I don't have much personal experience, but what I have seen is excellent. As those who read this blog may be aware, I don't read a lot of contemporary literature, which is in large part because I'm still trying to read the classics. But I did buy Daniel Taylor's mystery, Do We Not Bleed?, some months ago.  It's the second in a series, and I enjoyed it for several chapters until I decided that I really needed to know more about the background of the narrator and his odd sister, Judy. So I bought Death Comes for the Deconstructionist, which I've barely started but is off to a great start: its more-or-less-accidental detective seems to be a Walker-Percy-ish sort of character, "expert on a thousand things I wish I didn't know." (That reminds me of one of my favorite pop song lines, Bob Seger's in "Against the Wind": "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.") 

One thing I can say with certainty is that these books are beautifully produced. Here are the links again:

Slant Books

Close Reading

Comments

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Looks interesting

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then"

Amen to that. :)

Indeed. A great line, isn't it?

I'm afraid to look at this.

AMDG

I am re-reading My Name is Asher Lev, one of my favorite books.

AMDG

It'll be fun (looking at Slant). I've never read Asher Lev. Was that the one that Robert Gotcher wrote about in the 52 series?

I can't remember. Maybe.

AMDG

Grumpy, did you ever finish Serotonin? Any thoughts on it?

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