News broke in the past day or so that Denis Dutton, founder of Arts & Letters Daily, had died. I’ve never mentioned Dutton or Arts & Letters Daily at the blog before. And that was an oversight on my part.
As The New Yorker’s Blake Eskin notes in his tribute to Dutton:
“Denis was the intellectual’s Matt Drudge. Like the Drudge Report, aldaily.com has a retrograde design that has barely evolved over the years; Denis said he modelled it on the eighteenth-century broadsheet. Nevertheless, it became the home page of professors, students, editors. To be featured on Arts & Letters Daily meant your work would be read and discussed, whether you were Christopher Hitchens or a struggling neophyte, whether your piece appeared in The New Yorker or an obscure site with six regular readers. …”
I’m happy to know that the site will continue. And I hope that in the future I will be smart enough to visit it more and link to it periodically.
Dutton seemed like the kind of thinker I could have learned a great deal from, and thanks to the site’s archive, with any luck I will learn from him still in a sense.