Saturday, October 01, 2011

"Hey, didn't you used to have a blog?"

So BDR asked me recently. Indeed, it has been very slow here these last few months. But fear not! I've kept busy reading and thinking (though, alas, not actually writing) about a variety of bloggable topics, and I hope to soon be able to return some focus here. I'd spent a huge amount of time on my long essay on Gabriel Josipovici's What Ever Happened to Modernism?, an essay that was in many ways a culmination, however imperfect, of several years of thinking and reading. In a sense, that piece serves as an ending to one period of this blog and a beginning of, or opening onto, the next. My desire to complete it prevented me from working on much of anything else, but I also had trouble mustering the energy and concentration necessary to attend to even it for weeks on end. Hence light blogging. In truth, I've also been distracted by other things; blogging hasn't been a priority. Those distractions continued after the post went up, plus I felt some relief at having finally posted it, to the point that I lacked the will to post anything else for a while. Hence no blogging. But, without making any promises of frequency, I expect that to be changing soon.

However, at risk of some awkward bleggalgazing, as BDR calls it, though not of the "why am I doing this" variety, the truth is also that there's been something unsatisfactory about blogging for me. In part this is because I have all too often wanted it to be too many different things at once and have, one by one, simply failed to make it be almost all of those things. And I've noticed that in the periods when posting is slow here, I've nevertheless had countless items I've wanted to share, whether it be in the form of links or passages from books, but which I have essentially been unable to do anything with. I opened a Twitter account (God, that must've been two years ago) in part to keep up with some of the bloggers I liked who had also done so, not wanting to miss their interesting links, etc. For a time, I was using it to pass on links myself, though I was aware that not everyone who reads this blog had migrated to Twitter. And, it turns out, Twitter is an even bigger time-suck than blogs are (ignoring for now the shittiness of the interface). It quickly became overwhelming, much like my huge volume of RSS feeds, except that with Twitter you have to stay on all the time in order to make any sense of it. So I stopped using it, or checking it, except rarely out of bored curiosity.

So much for links. As for passages I wanted to share, long ago I started posting some here in entries marked "Noted", but I was never really satisfied with that either. They seemed to sit oddly in the mix of whatever else I might have up on the front page, and, of course, like any other post, they quickly got lost in the archives. Worse, many passages I held off on sharing because I thought they warranted a real post, with my own long-winded thoughts. Sometimes these posts actually appeared but usually not.

I still haven't figured out what, if anything, to do about sharing links. But I'm seriously considering following the examples set by two top friends of the blog, Stephen Mitchelmore of This Space and Ethan of 6th or 7th, both of whom have set up separate entities for the purpose of sharing quoted passages. Stephen's is a tumblr page, Of Resonance (the title continuing the Blanchot phrase of his blog's title), which he uses for literary passages, as well as short quotations and YouTube clips, among other things, leaving This Space devoted to his essays and reviews; while Ethan's is simply another blog, intended as a commonplace site. I'm more likely to do what Ethan has done, if not as comprehensively, if only because I can't access tumblr from work, and it would be annoying to be unable to access my own site. So don't be surprised if something like that appears in the coming weeks. In the meantime, maybe actual blogging will have resumed here?

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