I must apologize, if for nothing else than for lacking the kind of grace and characteristic honesty possessed by Michel de Montaigne, whose prefatory remarks to his Essais are for me still the gold standard of an apologia for keeping a record like the one I hope this will soon become. Though I certainly lacking Montaigne’s stylish modesty, I still wish to explain myself as best I can: I’ve felt for some time that I should begin keeping a blog.
At various times, I considered beginning or even began blogs: see the abortive Radhames Dykhoff appreciation page for one embarrassing effort from a half-decade ago, or a blog I half-heartedly kept for a library course I took while working on my SLIS degree, but I’ve never kept one going. Now, at a point in time when it feels as though blogs are almost passé (as long ago as 2008 Paul Boutin was able to describe them as being “so 2004” ), I’ve felt an urge to begin again, this time in earnest. In part this is because I feel like blogging (or at least the publication of one’s writing) allows for a certain kind of sociality, a making public (or at least semi-public) of my thoughts, feelings, responses, and ideas.
I have no definite plan for how this blog will unfold. I feel like I already share a great deal of what I interests me on Facebook, but am often dismayed by how difficult it is to search through the record of what I (or others have shared) and would prefer to have a semi-permanent record of my thoughts and interests. I also feel like there’s something about the way that I’d like to use the blog format which encourages a kind of attention to prose in a way that the 420 character limits of Facebook and 140 character limits of Twitter and the text message don’t allow for. I like Elisa Camahort-Page’s claim in this recent NYT article that “if you’re looking for substantive conversation, you turn to blogs.” No matter what the cultural trends portend, that is still what I am most often looking for, hence my turn at long last to the blog. My hope is that in blogging I will expand and perhaps build my community of interested persons, that I will commit myself to a more thoughtful method of engaging with ideas and regular practice of writing, and that I will share some things of interest to other persons, whether known to me at the time of writing or otherwise.
And so I begin.