probably there’s other mainstream American Style Bigwigs caved before wolcott – ex of the village voice years back, then of vanity fair, more recently also the new yorker – but he crystallises the coming problem pretty well, of writers whose shtick centres on the crafted sentence, the elegant appercu which skips you (mostly) over threatening glib mannered shallows into – he hopes – insight (the bad end of it being anthony lane probably, the best being maybe tom carson); the coming problem being how can writers of this type possibly operate at any intensity or useful volume in a format which is (surely?) by def much more quizzical and improvised much less lovingly carpentered for the ages? i don’t mean there aren’t careful or stylish or lapidary writers in blogs, but i do mean that the economy of attentiveness, speed and self-affirmed authority is just (ever so subtly?) different, and someone like wolcott (in his normal voice, which he developed in paperprint) reads forced in electroprint, except can he (afford to) adapt that voice accordingly?

writerly vanity being what it is – THOSE IDIOT SUB EDITORS RUINED MY JOKE etc etc – the attraction of weblogs for professional journalists, critics and commentators is fairly obvious, but who is actually going to be GOOD at it? more interesting question perhaps: who do we think – that we like or anyway tolerate on paper – is going to be unbearable?

(ps is it just my browser or is wolcott’s pagedesign all over the place?)

[UPDATE: strangely relevant report]