Maybe novelists are just nerds

This NYT article complaining about bibliographies in novels is hilarious to me. Have they never heard of sharing? Why this obsession with modesty?

“It’s terribly off-putting,” said James Wood, the literary critic for The New Republic. “It would be very odd if Thomas Hardy had put at the end of all his books, ‘I’m thankful to the Dorset County Chronicle for dialect books from the 18th century.’ We expect authors to do that work, and I don’t see why we should praise them for that work. And I don’t see why they should praise themselves for it.”

Do literary critics really have no interest in reading related books? Bibliographies are so clearly useful that I can’t understand anybody giving them the diss. Most of my reading list is harvested from the back pages of other books, especially for the indie thesis. I would love to see more bibliographies reference non-literary sources too: movies, art, people, places (you know, more like what websites do).

When websites post references and citations, that is taken as helpful even if it is a form of bragging. I guess on the internet it is ok to brag as long as you’re still contributing. I wonder how much that has to do with nerds taking delight in working too hard and caring too much. It’s not even real bragging or showing off, it’s just geeking out.