Thursday, June 12, 2008
(12:00 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
On My Greatest HitsSad but true: I've been thinking about making a book out of The Weblog. I've talked to Adam Robinson about doing it through Publishing Genius; I've e-mailed John Emerson to discuss the possibility of self-publishing. My motivation is to bring a kind of closure. I wouldn't shut the blog down, because it's settled into a pleasant routine, but at the same time I've been thinking for a couple years that my best writing in the blog genre is behind me.
The only step I hadn't taken was reviewing some of the archives, and tonight, more or less at random, I did. In some posts, I espoused some opinions I no longer hold, though that problem isn't as acute as it was with my ancient archives from The Homepage. The main issue, though, is that there is such an adolescent quality to my personal writings. Instead of trying to develop a non-adolescent way of writing about them, I just stopped -- and the loss of the "personal" posts, even more than the shifting of "academic" materials over to AUFS, probably accounts for the shift in the character of this blog.
One might also say that the division into two blogs eliminated some of my more speculative philosophical-theological posts, but it's hard to tell whether the division was cause or effect. I wrote a few posts in the old style on AUFS, notably this one, but as I begin to develop my intellectual project in a more formal way -- a project that is not discontinuous with what I've written on this blog over the years -- I have been much less inclined simply to "throw stuff out there" in quite the same way. Yes, I could be talking a lot about my dissertation project, for instance, but I don't think that doing so would actually benefit me in the same way that thinking out loud on the blog used to.
The changes in my life that have been most reflected on the blog -- gaining some distance on my more adolescent struggles and starting to chart out my thinking and writing on a larger scale -- have been unambiguously positive, and I'm much happier on average than I was when I was producing my "best" blog material. At the same time, reading the old stuff made me sad, made me want to somehow recapture that moment. Perhaps I'm describing nothing more than simple nostalgia, which is harmless enough. Yet I wonder if perhaps the best way to gain closure is to acknowledge that a particular door has already been closed for a while now.