Lafler on , 'Arts and Letters Daily'

Joanne W. Lafler

Arts and Letters Daily. Denis Dutton. .

Reviewed by Joanne W. Lafler Published on H-Scholar (October, 1999)

H-Scholar subscribers have been invited to review websites. I thought I would start the ball rolling with a review of one of my favorites, <i>Arts and Letters Daily</i>. <p> Earlier this year Barbara Bell recommended the <cite>A&L Daily</cite> site. I became an instant addict. Indeed, my only criticism of the site IS its addictiveness. The brain child of New Zealander Denis Dutton, it is a gateway to on-line newspapers, news services, news magazines, and journals all over the world. Published Monday through Saturday and updated each day, it consists of an attractively designed home page with links to fifteen newspapers, nine news services, three news magazines, and about seventy journals, magazines, and book reviews. Some of them require first-time readers to register, after which they can be read directly. I've "bookmarked" the ones I use frequently: the <cite>New York Times</cite>, the <cite>New York Times Book Review</cite>, and the <cite>Observer/Guardian</cite>. What would I do without the <cite>Guardian</cite>, which (for example) continued to report on the Ladbroke Grove train wreck long after American newspapers had lost interest in the story, and which offers a perspective quite different from my local paper, the <cite>San Francisco Chronicle</cite>. The central section of the home page consists of annotated links to over 100 articles that the editor deems especially interesting or timely. At the top of the Monday, October 11 issue (a print-out of which I happen to have before me) are links to articles or reviews about Milovan Djilas, Colette, a newly-discovered Beethoven quartet, Paul Kurtz, the poor sale of foreign fiction in the United States, and Charles Rosen's thoughts about piano artistry, to name only a few. <p> When I first began using the site, I became mesmerized- reading article after article. I now read more selectively and less frequently. (One DOES have a life!) Recently I used it for my work as H-Scholar editor. The Joyce Appleby review of <cite>Dutch</cite> had been sent to me for transmission to the list, without any indication of its publication date in the <cite>Washington Post</cite>. Through <cite>A&L Daily</cite> I got into the on-line <cite>Washington Post</cite>, did a quick search, and presto! There was the Appleby review. This process took less than five minutes. When I consider that only a year ago I was struggling with my first windows-based computer and using a mouse for the first time, I felt that I had finally "arrived" in Cyberworld. <p>

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Citation: Joanne W. Lafler. Review of , Arts and Letters Daily. H-Scholar, H-Net Reviews. October, 1999. URL:

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