What is to be Done? Or, Possibly, Not?

Towards the end of his contribution to a symposium on literary blogging, Mark Athitakis says:

Posts on the order of, "We Interrupt This Litblog For a Very Special Announcement of My Thoughts about Health-Care Reform" won't do much for me. But though I'm not much of a socialist, I like reading Scott McLemee's writings from that perspective on his (too rarely updated) blog, Quick Study.
Sigh. I guess it is pretty obvious that blog-keeping (of any sort: literary, political, personal, whatever) is way, way down on the list of my priorities these days. I don't even put up links to the articles influencing My Thoughts about Health-Care Reform -- let alone post said Thoughts themselves.

Mark's comment is a reminder that there are people out there who wouldn't mind too much if I did blog more. But it's not like I'm even bothering to use Quick Study to promote my work for magazines, newspapers, etc. these days. 

There are good reasons for this, involving a pretty thoroughgoing transformation of my sense of values. It began about 18 months ago and seems to be (if anything) building up momentum. Things that once seemed important now don't. What once counted as matters of ambition, frustration, etc. now just seem stupid, pointless, obtuse.

A talented poet or novelist or playwright might be able to give some form to this experience. My very much more modest powers in "the fourth genre" haven't been up to the task. The essay for Crooked Timber's seminar on George Scialabba was an effort to deal with some of it -- at a certain distance, without being overtly confessional or narrative. Short of producing something like Andre Gorz's The Traitor (not a good idea, nobody would publish it) the best course is probably just to keep folding the revision of values into my day-to-day writing, and leave it at that.

At this point, it is tempting to thank Mark, announce that I will return to regular blogging at some point in the not-too-distant future, then go off on vacation before facing the new work year. But who knows? It might happen and it might not.

I still don't have an answer to most of the questions that have been on my mind for a while now. One of them, if by no means is the urgent, is:  "What is blogging (for)?"

Once, some answer seemed at least potentially available, if not quite self-evident. That is much less definite now. I'll be interested to see how people address it in the symposium.   
September 3, 2009 12:24 PM | | Comments (4)



But it's not like I'm even bothering to use Quick Study to promote my work for magazines, newspapers, etc. these days.

I so wish you would. None of your other venues have feeds, nor are they in my regular rotation.

While I gather that this reticence is of a piece with the more general silence described, it feels to me that an exception could be made here. At the insistence of your adoring public.

a lot of the steam went out of it for me
when everybody started twittering
and whatnot. and feeds. yick.
all the readers dispersed all over into enclaves.
also i came to realize that what people were
seeing looked nothing like what i was seeing
and it's pretty demoralizing when you work
even as much as i've done on how it's gonna look.
i'd've given it up a long time ago if i had
anything like your other publishing commitments.
still. you know. keep 'em coming.
i don't always remember to look at IHE.

Well, you could point us to where else you've written lately, such stuff as
"Money never sleeps", rather than leave it to chance that we'll stumble upon it somehow. (with regard to which, many tribes inhabit finance, investment bankers not even the dominant tribe within investment banks, though they make better copy; I'll stick with Donald Mackenzie's sociology over Karen Ho's ethnography.)

Okay, I will try to be more reliable about that. Thanks for the encouraging words....

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This page contains a single entry by Quick Study published on September 3, 2009 12:24 PM.

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Department of Belated and Lackidaisical Self-Promotion is the next entry in this blog.

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