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Reviews of This Book
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Below are the 4 most recent journal entries recorded in Reviews of This Book's LiveJournal:

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005
7:34 pm
Imagine a gaggle of literary critics eating each other's shit forever - such is the glittering prospect promised by "Reviews of This Book".

The "project" was seminalized by a cheap literary party trick proposed by geek pin-up Douglass "Two Cultures" Hofstadter. The "joy of recursion" makes just about anything seem deeper, so why not lit crit?

At the heart of the project is a deep fear of aesthetic bravery. Litgeeks will do anything to avoid exposing the clockwork sterilities of their timid little hearts. Reviewers of "Review of this Book" were boldy unaware (until this review) that their dreams of building a James Joyce automaton reveal a craven fear of committing real art.

Ultimately we will leave the writing of literature to our robot overlords. "Reviews of This Book" wants to be the sperm that begets Shakespearazoid Prime. Instead it's just a semen stain on Tristan Tzara's gym sock.

Submitted by,

NeonMeatDream, Washboard player with the classic experimental band "Ianny X and the Stokastix"
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005
7:38 pm
Annoying Lack of Sex in "Review This Book"
As I read Reviews of This Book, I was struck by the references to worms, toilet paper and taking the reviewer out and shooting him. The overarching themes are clearly death and the body as decay - shit, food for worms. I cannot deny these themes are present, however:

Most reviewers in RTB are apt to take themselves much too seriously, as RTB is clearly a fun enterprise, light entertainment of the first stripe, and a situation in which shooting the reviewers would constititititute a violation of the underlying but not-thoroughly-explored theme of the joy of recursion. What are we to make of this paradoxical juxtaposition of tone?

Please also note, that if we exclude this review of Reviews of This Book, we find no mention of one of the main supporting characters in the RTB universe, no use of the word "H(+5) O(+3) F(+14) S(-4) T(-2) A(+19) D(+11) T(-11) E(+14) R(-13)" at all on the review page. This reviewer has to ask, "How did this happen?"

Reviews of This Book is homage to Douglas H'r, and the failure of any reviewer to utilize mention this one character, no matter how slow or green he might be, is so bizarre as to constitute a possible intentional omission, a conspiracy of anti-reptile extremists.

I hope a review by a non-member is acceptable to you.

With all respect,
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005
10:24 pm
Backlogged Reviews
[It's] too short. If "Reviews of This Book" went into more detail it could become interesting.
-- Stephen Bent

Inspired by the many articles of Douglass Hofstadter, this ambitious book falls
short of the vision but is nonetheless an entertaining read. Initiated and
edited by the creator of the Metacorder, this bit of meta bookmaking should be
expected from such a playful writer. In this case, he delivers, although the
use of the internet and the acceptance of amature reviews leaves something to
be desired.

The reviews are a muddled lot, organized not by anything more meaningful than
the names of the authors and ranging from the overly professional to the down
right mean, so we are faced with both the pretentious and the crass parading in
a sort of marching band of literature. Contributions come from friends and
strangers of the author alike, but the scope is small enough to make it an
evenings read. Why you would sit down and read it remains a mystery, as no
trace of plot can be found in the pages of this opus, but surely there must be
some people out there who enjoy that sort of thing.

The author himself is one of those, although he goes by the dubious
pseudonym "Rozencrantz the Sane," and he cites as inspiration names as abscure
as Georges Perec, Raymond Queneau and other members of the Workshop of
Potential Literature. Traces of this influence are found even in a project over
which he had little controll, since that very lack of control drove the entire
effort. The result is an interesting piece, but once the whole has been made
the individual parts quickly lose their importance.

***1/2, suitable for general audiences. May bore most readers.

-- Tristan Parker

This book wasn't even useful as impromptu toilet paper. It smeared too

-- Rasputin

Reviews of This Book is a supercilious tirade centered around a
sordid concept. It is a pathetic attempt at post-post-Dada-ism by its
very nature. The editor should be taken into a field and shot.

-- Brandon Eng
10:20 pm

Reviews of This Book is a project first envisioned by Douglass Hofstadter. The aim is exactly what it sounds, the implementation as simple as possible: Write a review of a hypothetical book of reviews of itself, and edit as much or as little as you like so that it reflects the real thing. Over time, it will grow to be a book filled with reviews of itself.

I'd love for this to see print some day.

In happy algorithmic super form:
1. Read this page here, and the entries gathered so far.
2. Write a review of them
3. Wait
4. Read the entries again, and edit your review to reflect any changes.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as many or few times as you like

Some guidelines:
- Have a sense of humor
- If you use exact quotes from the Book, make sure they stay accurate
- Talk about the prose, how interesting the idea is, and how well it turned out
- Use pseudonyms and write multiple reviews!
- Go on tangents
- Quality is great, but Quantity is critical
- Include your atribution exactly as you want it
- Tristan Parker (rozencrantz) has final say over what goes
- Posts in this community enter the Public Domain
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